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From opium fiend to preacher : the story of Cheng Ting Chiah Quirmbach, A. P 1907

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Array       iftl
From Opium Fiend
to   Pr
For ten years a Missionary
in China
First Edition of Ten Thousand
Published by
Is!:!        Toronto
The Young People's Forward Movement  for  Missions
F. C. STEPHENSON, Secretary
Methodist Mission Rooms, Toronto, Ont.
'•••. TfessssgBaasM Entered according to Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the
year one thousand nine hundred and seven, by Frederick Clarke
Stephenson, at the Department of Agriculture. CONTENTS
How the Yang-Tsb Deserted Shi-Shou 11
A Chinese Prodigal      -       -       -       - 17
Koh Proves Himself a Friend in Need 21
From Opium Den to Church—and Back 29
The Only Hymn in the Book                  - 41
"I Want to Witness"      -      -            - 55
Cheng's First Sermon       -      -            - 68
A Minister and a Witness      -            - 73
Full of the Holy Ghost and Wisdom 83
Cheng's First Spiritual Son and Grand-
son in Nan-Chou      -
How Yang and  Hsie  Forgave  their
Enemies     -      -      -      - - 107
The Mandarin, The Gentry  and  the
Catholics 117
We Start an Opium Refuge    -      -      - 123
Christmas at Nan-Chou   - 133
" Instant in Season, Out of Season "     - 148
Our Church Rules and What the Mandarin Thought of Them       -       - 153
Some Strange Inquirers and Converts 166
XVIII.   Thb Parting
179    introduction
THIS simple story of the grace of God in
the life of Cheng should be scattered by
the thousand among our people. It will
create not only faith in the work of Missions in
China but what is more, faith in the gospel
everywhere. It will be a message of hope and
salvation to many a poor victim of sin in our
own land, as well as a stimulus to Christian
hearts to send the gospel to China. It was in
the presence of such facts as are here depicted
that Paul exclaimed 11 am not ashamed of the
gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto
salvation to every one that believeth, to the
Jew first and also to the Greek," (to us first and
also to the Chinese). It is no mean result of
our missionary work that it thus comes back to
us to refresh our own faith, giving us living
proof and vivid conception of the wonderful
power of the old gospel of Christ's love.
Victoria College, Toronto. FOREWORD
THE story, with its unaffected simplicity of
style, its unconstrained and circumstantial narrative, is one which bears the ear
marks of truth and fact in every part.
I seemed when reading to be back in China,
and living over again the life I lived when there.
This unpretentious book deserves a wide circulation. Wherever it is thoughtfully read it will
stiffen confidence in the old doctrines of our faith,
and stimulate in a wholesome way, missionary
interest and activity.
It is a message to our day. William Arthur
said, half a century ago: 1 In this age of faith
in the natural, and disinclination to the supernatural, we want especially to meet the whole
world with this credo:—' I believe in the Holy
Ghost/ I With no less emphasis does this timely
word from the § Tongue of Fire | require to be
repeated in our day. This story then is a " voice f
to our time. We believe it warrantable and reverend to paraphrase and adapt the language of
Scripture (1 Cor. 2:4) and say | It is not by enticing words of mans wisdom' that this story
grips our hearts, but the miracle of which
Cheng, the erstwhile idolatrous opium slave, was
transformed into an earnest and successful
preacher of the gospel, is a miracle of grace and
is | in demonstration of the Spirit and of power."
PASTOR,  KNOX CHURCH,  TORONTO The Story of Cheng  Ting Chiah
How the Yang-tse Deserted Shi-Shou
HUNDREDS of miles up
the Yang-tse, in ftthe
province of Hupeh,
just below Sunday Island,
three tall peaks rise tridentlike above the thickly peo-
pled|§ plain. Twenty years
ago a wealthy city lay snugly at the mountain's base. It
bore the name of Shi-Shou,
which in English
Rock Head.
Like a dragon coiled pro-
tectingly around the city and
bounding   the   plain to   the
west, stretched a huge dike, high and broad,
called the Dike of Yellow Gold. Beside it
flowed the mighty Yang-tse, bearing to the
very doors of the citizens a multitudinous
Upon it was built the main street of
Shi-Shou, the Street of Yellow Gold, with
its double line of gay shops, resplendent
with gilded carvings of the dragon, the lion,
the phoenix and the bat, and filled with a
busy populace, crowding its narrow limits
and absorbed earnestly and constantly in
its lucrative trade.
People and priest, shop and sanctuary,
alike prospered. Magnificent were the city's
many temples to Buddha and the gods, for
the overflow of its wealth had been lavished
on abbeys and abbey lands'. Like a watch
tower, the temple on the ssacred southern
peak reared its lofty head toward heaven,
and under its protection the citizens felt assured of continued blessing and prosperity.
Was it that the spirit of the mighty
river was jealous of the gorgeous shrines of
the spirits of the land, or had not been sufficiently propitiated because both priest and
people were too busy in pursuit of riches,
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that one dreadful day the Yang-tse leaped
its banks, flooded all the land around, and
swept away as with the very besom of destruction the city's wealth ? Eagerly its
terrified inhabitants sought a way of escape
from the whelming waters ; JJhumbly they
essayed to appease the river spirit's wrath.
But all was of no avail.
Whether or not the gongs were beaten
too loudly and the prayers chanted at too
great length, whether or not the fumes of
sacred incense and the reports of the "hsi
pao," the votive fire-works, failed to reach
to heaven, they could not say. Certain it is
that gong and chant, incense stick and firecracker, were alike ineffectual. When at last
the waters receded from the flooded district,
it was found that the Yang-tse had forsaken its ancient channel beside the city and
had formed another three miles away.
No more its teeming commerce crowded
the wharves by the great dike with the
curious merchandise of Cathay. No more
the wealth with which it had long dowered
the citizens of Shi-Shou flowed down the
Street of Yellow Gold. The names remained,   the   gold   was   gone.   The   once fertile ms«^JS£^« (kr-lTg^ifjB—r,
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plain no longer yielded luxuriant crops to
happy harvesters ; it became instead "the
region of the Nine Lakes," and fishermen exploited wide waters covering fields whence
farmers hacT once reaped golden grain.
The city, left far inland by the river,
went rapidly to decay. Poverty took the
place of opulence, desolation lay upon mart
and shrine. Grass grew in the market
places, dust and dinginess held possession of
the deserted shops. The temples were in
ruins and the priests in rags. Everywhere
was shown but the wreck of former prosperity, so sadly had the glory departed and
the fine gold become dim.
The early story of the subject of this
narrative finds striking analogy in the story
of the city of his birth.
MM Jl Chinese Prodigal
CHENG TING CHIAH came of ofircial
family, at one time the richest in the
District of Shi-Shou. His father was a
great land-owner, possessing, to use a Chinese phrase, "wan pa tien," about ten thousand acres. Consequently Cheng grew up in
luxury, dressed customarily in silks and
satins, was well educated in the Chinese
classics, and even attended the great examinations in the capital of the province. Later,
when he grew up, he bought himself an official title, intending to devote himself to official life.
When he was about thirty,
however, his hopes were suddenly
dashed to the ground, for his
father died and the patrimony
was divided among the six sons.
Disputes as to its proper division
led to lawsuits among the heirs.
Old enemies, too, at this moment
of weakness, sought to dispossess
them of lands to which the titles £5
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were not quite clear. Thus the greater part
of his estate was swallowed up in court expenses, and Cheng finding it impossible to
gratify his ambition to be an official, ^decided to go into business.
But his family had long been renowned
as defenders of the poor ; and Cheng, now
the head of his clan, was true to the family
characteristics and became their constant
champion, fighting their battles in the
courts and otherwise befriending them, at
no little cost inflmoney and friendship.
Often, too, he would be sought after to settle disputes out of court. His strong reasoning powers and the ability he subsequently
displayed to make men think as he thought,
were developed here.
Over the table with tea and sweets before them, the leading men of the city would
meet him to settle some difficulty that had
arisen. Tea, feasts, opium, wine, tobacco,
and sweets, made up the never ending round
of this period of his experience. This sort of
life, however, unfitted him for business, as
did indeed his official bringing up and his
student tastes. The successful business man
must keep before him the proverb, "Ho ch'i
feiaajT: ■ - -acS^^ar^
seng ts'ai," which means, "The agreeable
spirit begets |wealth/' His breeding had
been that of a ruler, and agreeableness in
those days was far from him.
Heavy reverses came. Life went hard
with him. Sorrow after sorrow befell him
and loss after loss. His wife died and all his
children. Most of his money was swept
away. Disease fastened itself upon his body.
Hope failed and prospects became black as
As a young official, he had, among other
bad habits, become addicted to the use of
opium ; and now, brooding over his misery
and seeking relief from his pain, the habit
fixed itself more firmly and fatally upon
liim.   The appetite became insatiable.
Opium he must have, and to earn money
to get it he began pettifogging in the courts,
pleading causes not now for chivalry, but
for money, and with some success.
It was a bitter, lonely life. He was a
wreck of his former self—this broken-down,
half-blindj| decayed gentleman — earning a
pittance by the use of his powers of mind
and speech that he might buy a pipeful of
■^ *t
opium and forget his sorrows in its   dire intoxication.
He once said to me of those vears||"I
was eating the husks then. I used to wonder why I was so unlucky. What had I
done to bring on all this suffering ? Had I
offended mv ancestors ? Had I made a
wrong choice for my grandmother's grave ?
Perhaps fate had decreed that these sorrowful years should come upon me. And then I
asked, what shall I do ? Shall I take vegetarian vows, and, turning my back on the
pleasures of the world, seek thus to procure
a return of prosperity, or at least of health?
Or shall I kill mvself ?   What shall I do ?"
20 THERE  was   one  friend   to
whom   Cheng  poured out
the bitterness of his soul.
That friend was Koh, the keeper of the opium den he used to
For years^they had been
great cronies. Many a long
h®ur they had spent lying side
by side on the opium couch,
smoking and gossiping as
opium smokers do, filling each
other's pipes, and hob-nobbing
in dreamy languor as the subtle intoxication of the drug
settled down upon them. They
knew and trusted each other,
these friends—knew and trusted
each other well. And so to the
keeper of the opium den, Cheng
confided the storv of his dis-
tresses and perplexities .||Again
and again he went over the
ground, every day in deeper despair.   "What shall I do V1 lie f
\krv^- - rum- i flgnrr—~i*-    <t* ■ — "n. ir
said one night. "Shall I commit suicide—
or would it be worth while to become a
vegetarian ?    Perhaps it would help."
Koh listened earnestly but hardly answered a word, except to say as his poor
perplexed friend suggested one by one the
expedients he had thought of, "Don't do
that" or "Don't go into that."
Night after night Cheng took up his sad
story and asked ever more anxiously, "What
am I to do ?"
Koh listened as before, and at length
said softly, "I've got a road for you to
take." §    l
"What is it ?" said Cheng, eagerly.
Koh replied, "I am afraid to tell you. I
am afraid you would not like it." And for
weeks that was all be would say.
Finally one night Cheng said to | him,
"We are old friends ; you know me and the
misery I am in, you believe you know something that would help me. You say you
have a road for me to take, what is it V
Koh answered, "I'll tell you. It is the
Gospel Hall.'|j- |jj|
At the word Cheng jumped up excitedly
and threw   down   his   pipe.    "The   Gospel
22 Hall !" he shouted in amazed tones. His
pride still flamed within him, the very spirit
which prompted the old-time cry, "Can any
good thing come out of Nazareth ?"
Koh answered quietly, "Didn't I tell you
you would not like it ? But I know it is
true, that's the road for you."
"Why, they are no better themselves at
the Hall !" exclaimed Cheng.
There was, alas, at that time some reason for the remark, for a clique of evil men
swayed the seldom visited church at Shi-
Shou, and the truth was "held down in unrighteousness .''
"There is bad management there, I
know/ replied Koh. "But the gospel is all
right. See here, next Sunday the missionary visits Shi-Shou.   Will you go and hear
him?" 'SIB
Calmed  down   and soothed by another
pipe   of   opium,   Cheng   finally   consented.
"Well," he said, "we'll go and take a back
seat and hear the foreigner."
Meantime the two conversed about this
new Way, Koh explaining it as well as he
could and in a measure preparing Cheng for
the message of the Sabbath.
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Picture them there. The long, low, dark
room, its air heavy with the fumes of
opium, a passage-way down its centre, and
on either side running lengthwise a high,
wide platform. On these the smokers, lying
back on dingy cushions, their feet towards
the centre aisle, a tray between every two
with a lighted lamp, to the tiny flame of
which they hold the opium pipes as they inhale the seductive narcotic. Was ever a
more unlikely inquiry room ?
On the following Sunday morning this
strange pair, the opium smoker and the
opium den keeper who had become to him
in that dark chamber of indulgence a veritable messenger of the Cross, sat side by side
on the back bench of the Gospel Hall, and
listened to the missionary as he spoke in his
Master's name.
The first message that Cheng heard from
the Word of God was strikingly appropriate
to his case, and appealed to him at once.
It was on the text, "Where sin abounded
grace did much more abound."
"Oh !" he said to himself, "I know the
fact that sin abounds ;   T know that by my
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own experience, but grace is something
new." The Chinese word for sin means not
only transgression but punishment for transgression ;|Jand Cheng had had an unusual
experience of both meanings.||But what did
this grace that "abounded much more"
mean ? Koh had said there was a road.
Was this it ?
The evening found them there again, and
the evening text was, "The wages of sin is
death." JjJ
"Ah !" said Cheng to himself, "that is
true enough. It has been death to me, death
to my patrimony, death to my wife and
family. Look at me ; I am dead. My hopes
in life are dead."
Later he discussed the preaching^ with
Koh. This strange story that seemed too
good to be true was fastening itself Jupon
him. Hope had been aroused and faith was
being born.
"There does seem to be a way, there
does seem to be a way," he said. And so
they began to go regularly to the Gospel
Hall.        J! ;| -    Jf
Koh's interest, too, grew more rapidly
from this time.sBoth Cheng and   he   held
2$ S2
nr^y—.j- g^g.^ . ji ^-^ /ry=rtft—^r» re
themselves aloof from the local authorities
of the church, however, and for several years
would just attend the preaching services,
and then go away alone. The service over,
they would meander back to the opium den
for mutual comfort — and more opium.
Sometimes they got little or nothing out of
the sermon, but one or the other would say,
"The text was good, and the chapter."
Then, over the pipe, they would fall to discussing the real meaning as they understood it.
At length Koh applied in person to the
missionary and begged for baptism. "No,"
said the missionary, "you are an opium
user, you cannot be baptized, you jmust
break it off first."
The poor fellow goes home determined
to break it off. Soon the agonies that come
when the use of opium is abandoned begin
to distress him. Finally dysentery sets in.
That, if it persists, is a fatal symptom ; and
so he yields to the persuasion of friends and
again takes a little opium to save his
life. He is restored, to be sure, but now the
craving is worse than ever.
Six months   later   the missionary came
26 again and Koh once   more pleaded importunately for baptism.
"Philip baptized the eunuch when he believed with all his heart," he urged. "I believe on Christ with all my heart, why cannot I be baptized ?"
"What about the opium ?" asked the
missionary.   "Have you left it off ?"
"I did all but break it off," he said,
"and dysentery came on me and I took it
up again."
He pleaded and pleaded and almost
quarrelled with the missionary in his eagerness to receive the sacred symbol of entrance
into Christ's church. Had he not done his
utmost ? There were no hospitals near, no
help of any kind.
"I cannot receive you into the church
while you take opium," said the missionary.
"It is impossible."§
How could he know the depth of this
man's sincerity ? Besides, the use of opium
could not in the least be tolerated. So he
tested Koh in the following way : "If you
try faithfully to break off and die in the
effort, would not heaven be yours and God
pleased to receive you ?"
&&&S& S^n r.    ig
These words went far more deeply into
his hearer's soul than the missionary knew.
Again Koh went home ; again he broke off
opium ; again the fatal dysentery came on ;
again his friends begged him to take opium
to save his life, and finally endeavored to
force it into his mouth.
"No," he said, §§ will not take it even
to save my life. I have the word of the
missionary that God will be pleased with
me since I have done my best to break it
off.   If I die, it will be home for me.'
And so, despite the urgency of his
friends, he absolutely refused to take opium
and died. Koh the opium den keeper became
Koh the martyr. Who doubts that God re-
ceived him ?
28 fct
From Opium Den to Church—
and Back
NO one mourned his
death more than
Cheng. Koh had
been his old friend and
companion for years, and
had led him to his first
knowledge and thought of
the truth.
About this time he also applies for baptism,
but he is still an opium
user and can not be admitted to church membership. Again and again he
tries to break it off. But
again and again, when almost successful, some one
or other of the many
diseases with which he is
afflicted comes upon him,
and though while ill there
is no craving for the drug,
in the weakness of partial
recovery he yields to the
longing for stimulant, and
comes once more hopelessly under its influence.
Meanwhile he grows poorer and   poorer,   too   poor nmNmiH
and too much occupied with disease and
opium to have regard for dress, unable even
to be cleanly. At the age of fifty he presents a sorry sight, indeed.
During these days of great weakness, the
matter of attending church was not an easy
one. The church was three miles away from
his country home, but every Sunday morning, rain or shine, he would take his staff
and wend his way wearily thither, passing
through the paddy fields on to the great
dike and the Street of Yellow Gold.
By this time faint and exhausted, he
would drop into the first opium den he passed and satisfy his craving with many pipes,
until the stimulus from the opium would
enable him to continue his journey. Carefully he would then pick his way along the
crowded streets, now brushed aside by
coolies carrying their loads, now jostled by
the sedan chair and retinue of some passing
official, until he arrived near the church.
Once more, his energy exhausted, he would
enter an opium den and once more stimulate his failing strength. When again the
appetite was satisfied, he would hobble into
the church.    Often he would be   wet   and
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cold, and splashed with mud from stumbling
into the many holes in the road.
Years after, some of the members described his condition at that time and told
me how much they had resented his coming,
especially as he was so weak and ailing.
They said, "Often have we seen Mr. Cheng
lying on the broad benches of the church in
the chills and high fever of malaria, the consumptive cough racking his wasted frame,
and together with his suppressed groans,
disturbing the service. Sometimes we used
to say to him, 'Mr. Cheng, had you not better go home ? Your illness is so extreme we
are afraid you will die here in the church.' "
Under such conditions did poor Cheng
persevere in his endeavor to learn the gospel of Jesus Christ. Was ever a more
pathetic picture presented than that of this
suffering man, stimulating himself with
opium to get strength to creep painfully to
the place where he could hear the sound of
the gospel and find the way to the Cross!
In this condition I first met him. One
morning as I was sitting in the church, some
one brbught him to me and said, "This is
33 <S2
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'^—-- g^~— - i'->—i- H-mr-^~^'—■—'fm    ^-mi-T\i*—~Ji=^lc
the   second   son   of Jthe official   family   of
Cheng." fjp   -     •     -p|
I looked at him, JJ a poor, decrepit,
shuffling creature, so full of sores that his
sleeves were low over his hands to hide
them as much as possible—unkempt, unshaven, and disreputable looking. Could
this be a man of official family ? He certainly did not look like it. I entered into
conversation with him, however, and he
told me some of the circumstances of his
life. As soon as he began to speak, I said
to myself, That is the language of an educated man; and while there was no dignity
in his appearance, in his speech there was
ample evidence that he had belonged to the
He wanted to be a Christian, he wanted
to learn the doctrine and desired to buy a
large print Testament. I suspected he was
an opium victim and asked him if he used
the drug. A friend who was with him said,
"He only takes a couple of pills every day.'
This is an expression opium users have when
they desire to break it off and have not been
successful. It implies that there is little
craving left.
34 &I9L*
TO f&EACKEft   ^
I said, "If so little as that, wait until I
come back in the fall and I will take you
over to the hospital at Chang-Teh, and
though you are so weak the good doctor
there can do something for you."
The poor fellow jumped at my offer with
eagerness and gratitude. §||
H "All right, then," said I. "In six
months if you will come with me,   we will
«/ *
do our best." Meantime I counselled prayer
and study of the Word.
It was six months before I saw him
again. During the summer he had been very
ill and he told me it was really the hope of
what I had promised that had kept him
alive at all. When with the October days I
came again to Shi-Shou he hobbled along
to the church to see me.
"Oh !" said I, "you are the old man
that I promised to take to the hospital."
He was surprised to find that I recognized him so readily, and delighted that I
had not forgotten my promise. SI made arrangements with him that on a certain day
he was to meet me at Lao Shan Tsui, about
three miles away on a branch of the Yang-
tse flowing south.    There he was to come *•-
-00 ax
on board my small hired junk, and I would
take him to Chang-Teh, to the hospital of
the Presbyterian Mission. I told him when
to come, and that he was to be there and
be prompt.
Meantime I visited him at his home. All
that was left him was permission to live with
his nephew, a simple countryman who was
also enquiring the Way. A thatched roof ;
a three-roomed house filled up with rude
agricultural implements ; a grain bin of
bamboo in the corner of the only room that
was not a bedroom—such was his home.
This central room served at once as a store
for rice and as a kitchen ; an extra chair or
two showed 'that it was also the guest
Here, after chasing out the ubiquitous
pig and chicken, w^e chatted, sipped tea,
sang several hymns and had prayer Sto-
gether. I began to feel that there was in
this man a response which showed more
than mere interest. Was it a spark of spiritual life I was detecting ? I determined to
do all I could to fan it into flame. There
turned  out  to  be in   him,   as   the   sequel
36 £5Ts5rB;*«5 ■ "■" djii^i^^^»jmj^£3iatS*£.<gSgj
shows, a far deeper work of grace than   I
then thought possible.
But I little knew him then. I had met
him but a few times, and could give him
but a few minutes at a time, for our enquirers were many, and such was the
strange mixture of humility and pride in
him that it was hard to get to know him,
to find out where he really was.
When the time came I looked for him at
the place of appointment, but there was no
sign of Cheng. I waited as long as I could,
and then left to go ten miles further down
the river, where there was an important
out-station that demanded some attention.
I left word at Lao Shan Tsui that if he
were to come they could tell him I would be
occupied for some hours at the out-station
and he might meet me there. I spent half
a day finishing up my duties, but there was
still no sign of Cheng.
I had given him up, had boarded my
boat, and was almost under way in my
passage down the river, when a sampan
came in sight, and in it old Cheng, shouting
and gesticulating wildly in the hope of at-
37 tracting my attention.    So I received him
into my boat, and we started.
He told me how it was he had been delayed. Early in the morning of the day
appointed he had got ready, but he required
three or four dollars in copper cash for his
expenses by the way, and begged his nephew
who had in charge his few piculs of rice, to
give him the money. The clan, however,
objected to his leaving and his nephew refused to give him the cash.
Earnestly they expostulated : "Er-tie,'
(second father—his clan designation—for he
was the second son and now advanced in
years),'"why at your time of life do you go
so far from home and vou not at all well
and strong ?"
In vain he explained that the pastor had
promised to help him break off his opium,
that he might be baptized. They had no
heart to appreciate such explanations.
"Er-tie, how many years more would
you smoke, anyway ? And won't we provide you with what opium you want ? Why
should you risk so much and suffer so, while
perhaps you may not be able to break it off
after all ?" § ' M
38 arszssssn
"Give me my money and let me go—the
pastor is waiting. Why do you delay the
pastor ?" pleaded Cheng. He was indeed
anxious. It seemed his last chance. He
dared not miss it.
"But, Er-tie, how do you know what it
will be like away over there at Chang-Teh ?
Have we not heard strange stories of what
they do in those hospitals ? And what if
you were to die away from home ?" Thus
they assailed him at all points where a Chinese is especially vulnerable.
But Cheng, in desperation, when he
could brook no further delay, cried out :
"Money or no money, I'm off," and his
nephew followed this strange uncle, with the
money—thirty or forty pounds weight of
copper cash at one end of the pole over his
shoulder and the old man's scant bundle of
baggage and bedding at the other.
39 First the bitter, then the sweet.
Bitter ended, sweet comes.
Patient endurance of trouble upon trouble
will make you a man among  men.
Though a man grow old in years, his heart may
remain young ;
m *&
though he be  poor, his conduct may be noble. THERE were four
of us in the
boat, the two
boatmen,' Cheng, and
myself, and he and I
occupied the tiny cabin. Our beds were
made up on the floor
within sight and hearing of each other.
Next morning I noticed he was in very
great discomfort, and
in answer to my questions he admitted he
was not well. We had
morning devotions,
and chatted much
during the day.
As evening drew on
he grew much worse,
and I naturally be*
came concerned at the
sight of his very evident distress.   I began xg^f yv ATJRS3
to question him as to the amount of opium
he had been in the habit of taking every
day.     .1 S
"Chi hoh—a few vials"—was his reply.
fBut how many ?" I insisted.
fPah   hoh—eight   vials"—he  said—half
an ounce or thereabout.
I was frightened.   "Eight vials !" I ex-
laimed.   "Why, I was told you were only
taking a pill or two."
fThat was not correct," he said. "My
friends .understated the amount out of kindness to me. I was always taking as much
as this."
Then I began to realize what I was in
for. Here was a heavy opium-smoker,
breaking off wholly from that large quantity, a shattered wreck to begin with, and
now suffering terribly from the sudden stopping of the drug ; and here was I, without
special medical skill and without medicines,
alone with a man who I felt might die before we could reach the hospital. He had
some opium pills with him, I found, but the
other drugs mixed with it made him so ill
that after the first day he could not take
them. House Boat
Crowded River Craft
Copyright, Underwood & Underwood  J3PggB.'*SiiV ijiIB3SR«C»faeu^^baeS^<^»ICa*aj
As the night came on he was always
much worse, of course, for night is the time
in which opium is usually smoked and when
its victim most feels the craving. His cough
and expectoration alarmed me greatly.
Never had I heard such sustained and violent coughing, and at times the mucus seemed to choke him. On questioning him closely he said there was much pain in his limbs
and at his heart.   The fever consumed him.
The whole night long one could hear
him groaning, though without one word of
complaint or regret, and in the midst of his
suffering he would appear to challenge the
Almighty to rescue him from his condition.
"Lord, you must help me ; Lord, you must
help me," he would say ; and his simple
faith seemed to lay hold upon the divine
arm with a grip that refused to let go. I
did not sleep much myself under such conditions, of course.
In the morning he was so exhausted
that it seemed as if he must sink from utter
weakness and stupor, and in order to arouse
him, I called out "Cheng, Cheng, let us sing
With the Chinese grunt of assent,   and
(.*! i
MiiT "I— iAtassci"-^
r<S" :^"*r™ j "isus
clearing his throat with a great choking effort, he said, "Oh yes, let us sing."
"What shall we sing, then ?" I asked as
I helped him sit up.
"Teacher, there is only one hymn in the
book, the one hundred and thirty-fifth :
0 su rih wei tsui ren,
Puh ming peh Chu en ;
besides,   I   know it by heart, and my eyes
are so dim I could not use a book."
The beautiful hymn of the poor sufferer's
eager choice is a great favorite with our
congregations in China. The air is, I believe, originally Chinese, and the language, idiomatic, strong and wonderfully
concise and expressive. Many a time have I
heard a Chinese congregation singing it
with intense enthusiasm and delight, keeping time to the ringing melody with swaying bodies and stamping feet. A literal
translation of it has been versified by a
friend in Canada as follows :
I once was a sinner who cared not for God,
I feared not life's   danger,   I   felt not sin's
load ;
Friends  round me rejoiced in  the light  of
His face,
46 TO OTA.CKE&   |±S
I blindly despised Him, the Lord of all
But God in great mercy my darkness made
light, |  j     1
I saw His law's sternness and quailed at the
In plans of self-succour no hope could I base,
Only Jesus could save me, my Lord of all
At the name of my Saviour, as perfume
most sweet,
At once my fears vanish, my peace is complete ;
Rejoicing, I feast in His banqueting place,
What return can I make Him, my Lord of
all Grace ?
My treasure most  rich is the grace   of my
Oh, how   can   I   perish   who   trust   in His
word ?
Midst life's storm and struggle, Christ's arm
shall embrace ;
My sun  and  shield  ever, the Lord   of   all
When I cross the dark valley and yield up
my breath,
■Mnsm^Mddi St
Christ's name shall inspire me to   triumph
o'er death ;
I shall rise, when He calls, from earth's quiet
sleeping place,
And behold Him forever, my Lord   ofllall
Grace !
I believe that hymn largely helpedJlto
keep Cheng alive. Its effect upon him was
wonderful. Again and again he would call
for it. Every day, and generally two or
three times a day, one or the other of us
would begin it, then both taking up the
strain, its simple yet striking melody would
echo over the waters of the river. Our stolid
boatmen came to recognize and join in the
air, and in junks and other quaint river
craft near by, men would lift their heads
and listen, as the unwonted strain and
words of the Christian hymn fell upon their
How vividly the picture comes before
me ! I can see Cheng sitting up in bed—for
weak as he was he could not be happy when
singing to his divine Lord unless his attitude was worshipful— his head almost
touching the low mat covering of the cabin.
48 to fen
tlW^g^n^wr^:.-:.^ ^m^^ s fftrTlSU)
Under him is his ragged bedding, one end
carelessly thrown over his feet, to hide and
keep them warm. His shabby garments are
folded loosely over his attenuated form, and
his hands brought reverently together in his
His voice, at first weak and tremulous,
quickly increases in strength and volume,
and finally rings out in surprisingly vigorous tones of exultation and triumph, as the
hymn describes the Christian course from
conviction of sin to reception into glory.
The poor fellow's body is indeed in the
bondage of pain, but his spirit free in the
love of his Lord.
The first verse stirs memories of his long
life of sin, the physical consequences of
which now so sadly distress him.
"I blindly despised   Him,   the  Lord  of all
Sadly he sings these words. In what
supreme contempt he had held this foreign religion. Had any one but his
friend Koh first spoken to him of Jesus,
how he would have turned upon and reviled
him !
iBHttMiHias».»- Immmmmm
"But   God  in  great   mercy   my   darkness
made light."
His voice breaks as if under the
thought of the unspeakable goodness
that had sought him out even in the depths
of an opium den. The light had come to
him amidst clouds of opium smoke over the
soothing pipe, which, alas, had kept him a
helpless slave all these long years between.
The law's sternness, the hopelessness of self-
succour, full well he realizes it; and there in
my boat, fast in the toils of disease and
opium appetite, he sings, as with a faith
that will not let go,
"Only Jesus could save me, the Lord of all
At the third verse, which expresses the
sweetness of fellowship with a living, loving,
personal Saviour, as he sings the line—
"Rejoicing, I feast in His banqueting place,"
the very light of God shines on the
haggard face, and the man's body sways
with emotion. If he lives, it is Christ and
freedom from opium ; if he dies it is to be
with Christ, and far better than earth's
5° Iff TO MtEACKEft   H-
f <
My treasure most rich is the grace of my
Lord," I
he sings. Earth's treasures have long
failed him, yet this infinitely surpasses
all he once possessed. How can he perish
with such a divine Friend ? With utter
abandon he pours out his soul in the lines :
"Midst life's   storm and struggle,    Christ's
arm shall embrace ;
My sun   and   shield ever, the Lord of   all
At this point he no longer looks the
helpless heap I lifted into a sitting posture
a few moments before. The joy-filled soul is
now supreme over the pain-racked body.
In solemn but quietly assured tones, he
sings of crossing the dark valley. In the
very moment of death the sound of Christ's
name shall revive his soul and give him
triumph. His body shall but sleep quietly in
the grave till the resurrection morning. The
highest heaven, the abode of Jesus, is to be
bis home. With ecstatic delight he sings the
final line of the hymn :
"And behold Him for ever, my Lord of all
Grace." |§|
Over and   over  he sings   it, as though
51 e
Vhl'   •=—7 II   in     ■T'wy-■'■ ■ *~i*T=——■    4*   ■—— «»•— n'g
~^'nn—   (*!■
"lll^i I Klwrr-Iv=£-   j*** -ir *
~^°—-- ^'"-—~y
loth to descend from the height of his soul's
rapture to the misery in which his body is
bound. To be in the presence of Christ, his
"Grace-Lord," through the eternities, sinless, painless, glorified with Him—the earnest of that inheritance is already in his
heart. Present weakness and distress are
lost in the fulness of the beatific vision, and
turning to me, he exclaims in tones full of
holy joy, "Oh teacher, there is not a pain
or an ache left !" But God in great mercy my darkness made light,
I saw His law's sternness and quailed at the sight;
In plans of self succour no hope could I base,
Only Jesus could save me, my Lord of all Grace.   Repeat
At the name of my Saviour, as perfume most sweet,
At once my fears vanish) my peace is complete;
Rejoicing I feast in His banqueting place,
What return can I make Him, my Lord of all Grace? Repeat
My treasure most rich is the grace of my Lord;
Oh, how can I perish who trust in His word ?
Midst life's storm and struggle, Christ's arm shall embrace;
My sun and shield ever, the Lord of all Grace.   Repeat
When I cross the dark valley and yield up my breath,
Christ's name shall inspire me to triumph o'er death;
I shall rise, when He calls, from earth's quiet sleeping place,
And behold Him forever, my Lord of all Grace.   Repeat m t% H ^ ri
The yamen doors stand wide open;
4 & IliHl 4- ^
though in the right, do not enter without money.
Guard against famine every year;
against thieves every night.
A £ $tf A- ^
The quiet man is taken advantage of,
and the quiet horse is ridden by every one. Dm~ URING the daytime we
used J to have many
heart to heart talks.
So the hours, very painful hours to him and very
anxious ones for me, wore
gradually away. The fourth
day out was the worst. He
was so very ill that Igde-
spaired of his life. I felt his
pulse ; it was a mere thread.
I made sure that he would
die that day. I became
alarmed for myself, for I
knew what I was risking. My
own life might be forfeited if
that man died and I was
found with a dead Chinese
on my boat. It was a serious business. There was no
remedy for it but prayer,
and I prayed often and
Finally I thought I had
better tell him how matters
stood. f"Well,    Cheng,"    I
•II =*£
wn BlU
"^TiTT-li T   V
said, "your pulse is very low. If the Lord
calls you to-day, are you ready to go ?"
"As the Lord wills," he said quietly.
"But look here," I said, "how do you
feel about dying here away from home ?
Had you not better take a little opium to
prolong your life till we get you to the hospital ?" "H|:      f      §      §      9^'-Wt
"You-know," he said, "what the former
missionary told Koh, that it was better to
die breaking off opium than live with the
sin upon him ;, and that if he thus died God
would be pleased with him,"—and he looked
at me with his dim eyes. "Was that true ?';
he said.
The tears came to my eyes as I looked
at him and listened to him. With suppressed emotion I replied, "Oh, Cheng, you know
it is true."
"Koh died breaking off," he continued.
"How much longer have I to live, anyway ?
If I die now breaking it off I will receive the
pleasure of God. I prefer to be just this
way.    I am not afraid."
My heart was full. I said nothing. The
old man knew his condition and he had
made up his mind. §§J to preacher
bffSgfl »aa6£kfliSBS^tG~G^<iag^<CgS^eBUg^
After sitting quietly for a time, wrapped
in thought, he suddenly broke the silence by
saying, "I want to live three years."
I almost laughed. I was afraid he
would not live until night. I said, "I shall
be surprised if you live three days ! Why do
you want to live three years ?"     ||||
Then came words, uttered quietly and in
a humble tone, that burned their way into
my heart. The expression of faith||of the
Syro-Phoenician woman could not have delighted the Master more than those words
delighted me. They were the real and intense utterance of a man who had but one
desire in life. Simply he said, "I want to
witness, I want to witness."
Tears rushed to my eyes. I was profoundly moved. I had never heard words
like these. I was pastor and he was learner,
but now he was teaching me as I had never
been taught. He had caught the martyr
spirit of Koh. I felt that a man with such a
spirit, a man who would rather die than
take opium to save himself, a" man who was
eager to live, yet only to witness for his
Saviour, should not dieJf How could we afford to lose him ?   China needed such as he,
'   57
1 I
Awl nmn eiNP
oh, so greatly! If God would be pleased to
bring him through and let him tell it all
for Jesus' sake ! In tears we laid it before
Him, Surely He had been training this man
to fulfil His own purposes.
How it was I know not, but he lived.
We reached Chang-Teh on the fifth day, and
calling a sedan chair, I had him conveyed to
the hospital. Already the worst was over,
so far as giving up opium was concerned. A
little nook was appointed him and loving
hands ministered to his needs.
The doctor kept him in hospital about
a month.
"That is a good old fellow you sent to
the hospital," he remarked to me. "He is
a wonderful man to read his Testament;
he pores over it with his half-blind eyes, and
rubs his nose up and down the pages all
day long."
At the end of the month he came to our
compound. He was unspeakably glad and
grateful that at last the opium habit was
conquered. Thirty years before he had toyed with the drug as a careless young
"sport," and for at least twenty years it
had held him completely in its power. HaT* tt»if
Often he had cursed himself for his folly.
Often he had cursed "the foreign English
devils" who had forced the traffic upon his
country. With an oath he would call it "the
barbarian's muck."
Yet as every evening came on, if at all
able to get out, he would take his lantern
to light his way home again, and, with ever
quickening step, hasten to the den and let
his enemy beguile him once more—if only for
the night. What if he would be miserable
again to-morrow ? What if he knew not
where to-morrow's opium was to come
from ? There was at least present enjoyment. The pains and cough would leave
him for the night. His mind was fresh and
he could scheme how to get to-morrow's
Then a change had come. Through Koh
he had received a higher impulse. He dared
no longer sin against God as he had done.
He had to cease to wring money from men
by wrong means. Still this opium appetite held him by the throat, but now through
God's grace he was free. At last, at long
last, the battle had been fought, the victory
won.    The   awful   sin  against   himself   no
59 gmmmmuv
longer enchained him, and an unutterable
gladness filled his heart. "T'oh liao t'i, t'oh
liao t'i !' he exclaimed joyfully, "the burden is dropped off, the burden is dropped
off !" j- 1; m
Almost at once we began to speak about
his baptism. Usually we kept the converts
a year or more on probation before admitting them to baptism ; but in his case it
seemed to me that probation had well been
passed, and so we arranged that on a certain Sunday it should take place. The fact
that that Sunday happened to be my own
birthday added wonderfully to the old
man's joy.
It was an occasion long to be remembered. The strange train of circumstances in
the man's career ;§his loss, his sorrow, his
disease ; his forlorn and despairing condition for years ; the death of his friend Koh
in his heroic struggle to give up opium ; his
own victory and his partial recovery ; If all
combined to fill his own heart, and mine
too, with thoughts too deep for speech.
The little Chang-Teh congregation was
much impressed with his testimony. The
triumph of grace was apparent to the most
60 unbelieving. I realized that the church was
being enriched by the reception of such a
one. How glad I was that I was privileged
to administer the rite !
Cheng's own joy was unspeakable. He
could scarcely believe it true. So long had
he waited, so long had he been on the border of death, so long in despair ; and now
the blessed gates were wide open in love to
receive him. 0 rapturous moments ! Doubtless the angels rejoiced exceedingly, and the
Father and Son bestowed their joint unction
while trembling hands were laid upon his
head. To Cheng his baptism was a time of
rich spiritual enduement, and greatly he
needed it, for fiery trials were not yet ended.
1 -*] * * #. H *k X. M
Money made by hard dealing   never lasts long.
Medicine cannot cure imaginary disease.
i m % %
Wine cannot alleviate real sorrow.
The son of the skilful  sorcerer is generally
killed by demons.
The son of the skilful doctor often dies of disease.
62 Cheng's First Sermon
A FEW days after his
baptism Cheng went
ifl off to his home in
Shi-Shou, but before he
left he asked me if I would
not grant him a privilege.
"I have not a friend like-
minded to converse with
near my home," he said.
"Would you mind if I
lived on the church premises ? I will find my own
rice, of course, and be of
no expense." I gave him
leave willingly and he
bade me farewell and returned to Shi-Shou. A
fellow traveller thither
was a confirmed opium
smoker, constantly using
the drug, but Cheng
never wavered.
All winter long, however, he was extremely
ill.    His   cough   and   blood  spitting   were
fearful.   The   chapel keeper  told me afterward   that he did    not   know    how    the
S mMiftonunFttNP'
poor fellow bore it, and why, knowing what
relief opium would at once give him, he did
not again yieldJfto its seduction. But the
winter passed somehow, and he got through
the spring and summer. His testimony in
these days, in spite of much weakness, was
blessed to the people of Shi-Shou. He was
being prepared for what was to follow.
Early in the autumn I saw him. He was
then somewhat better, but still,very weak.
"If I could only get strong," he would
say to me, "if I could only get strong."
"Well, come along with me to Chang-
Teh," I said. "Let the doctor see you again,
perhaps he can help you."
He consented gladly, and I took him
with me on my return. He lived at our
compound, the doctor examined and prescribed for him, and he grew much stronger.
It was a time of revival with us. Never
had our Chang-Teh church been so stirred.
At the after meetings following our nightly
services, amidst prayer, testimony and joyful singing, a number of persons were
brought to God. Cheng received a new en-
duement of joy andWbecame ecstatically
happy.   He would sit back in his chair and
64 3=3**»*=£3l3^SDI
to w^mmm-
with an actual whoop of delight exclaim,
"Kw'ai hoh, kw'ai hoh ! 0 pi ni men tu
kw'ai hoh sie !—Happy, happy ! Fmjfthe
happiest of all !'
The churcb§t was greatly stirred up by
this revivalffso much so that the members
themselves eagerly said, "What can we do
for our wives and families ? Cannot they
share somehow in the blessing we have received ?" So I decided to hold special services for women. ItSwas awkward, of
course.   Could we get the women to come ?
I knew well the Chinese prejudices.
Hence I was careful in making preparations
to avoid all occasions of offence. I sent to
the residences of retired officials and gentry
throughout the city my large Chinese visiting card with a special invitation. I also put
up posters on the streets announcing the
meetings, stating that husbands might escort their wives or sons their mothers to
the services, also that I had arranged that
the wife of one of the missionaries should be
always present, to, as the Chinese say,
"accompany" the preaching. The result
was that the large chapel in which we held
service was crowded with women.   Many of
65 r-vr. a ^ait
the titled ladies of the city attended ; and
their husbands and sons, though not entering the chapel, stood at the doors eagerly
watching and listening, while the street outside was crowded with sedan chairs and
Realizing that the experience through
which Cheng had come would be of interest
and help to the women, many of whom were
in the clutches of the opium habit, I said to
him, "Cheng, I have a big meeting shortly.
I want you to give your testimony."
"Can I do it ?" he said.   "What shall I
"Tell them," I said, "how the Lord has
saved you. I believe you have a message
for them." I was convinced that God was
going to use him, that he was really called
to be a messenger of the Cross.
He now waited upon God to get the
message direct from Him. His whole
thought and prayer were concentrated upon
this one thing — God must speak through
him. I would say to him occasionally,
"Have you got your message ?" and he
would shake his head and reply, "Not yet."
One morning, however, he told me God
66   rriin't—■■Kin—i in J*^- ,—»*"--■ •Mi'^-^i-''r-'    ■""Br-
"o otackeh
had given him something to say ; and, hesitatingly and modestly, how it had come to
him. "Last night," he said, "as I lay
awake, now thinking, now praying, about
midnight I received four thoughts. I got up,
lit my lamp and wrote them down." With
what "large letters" he wrote, as at the
mid-hour of night he had with dim seye and
trembling hand recorded God's word to him,
I saw next day. He proposed to speak of
the Crucifixion under four aspects, the plan
of his address showing the clear, logical
style of the Chinese scholar.
He was surprised when he came into the
church and saw the congregation. "Why,
this suggests the mythical country of women !" he exclaimed.
One of the native evangelists made the
first address. Then the time came for Cheng
to speak. He had been praying so much and
looking forward so eagerly to this meeting,
and had-caught so much of the glow of the
revival, that his spirit was most intense.
He started off like a flame of fire/ His
voice was strong and high pitched, and he
so tremendously in earnest that, as he went
on, he became much excited and jumped  up
69 -<f ■fr'w:i. ^' w-^gs, .«jg,yj
' V—T-n-irT'"*-—- - "
and down, gesticulating wildly. There were a
number of ladies § of official rank present
who had never had anyone address them in
such a violent manner. Some misunderstood
this vehemence, and the result was that
twenty orv thirty in the front seats got up
and went out.
This worried me somewhat, and yet I
concluded that, as it was the old man's first
effort at preaching and he was so filled with
the Spirit and so enthusiastic, I dared not
interfere in any way, though I felt he was
overdoing it in his excitement. I said to
myself, This man has a message. He must
deliver it, and I believe the blessing of God
will be upon it.    So I let him proceed.,
On he went through one, two, three,
four points, but at such a rate that his zeal
carried him away and he swung off at a
tangent. When these unprepared thoughts
had been given, I saw he was trying to find
his way to a logical conclusion, and to save
him from embarrassment, helped him to
His address was a powerful one. His
theme was God's love in Christ ; to the
world, and to him personally. Here he was
inexpressibly tender, his whole soul on fire
70 with a love that would requite as much as
in him lay, God's love to him. He branched off to strongly combat the worship of the
Goddess of Mercy, whom: the Chinese women
revere as their ideal of tenderness and affection.
The Goddess of Mercy, Kuan Yin, or in
full, Kuan Shi Yin (Intent upon the World's
Cries) is a comparatively late invention of
Buddhism which has succeeded in gaining a
large place in the hearts of Chinese women.
It was not thinkable that the male deities
could enter into the sympathies, understand
the needs and enjoy the confidence of the
modest and reticent women of China. So
Buddhism, with an eye to endowments in
land and wealth, created this goddess, a
model of virtue and benevolence. Her images
frequently show her with a child or children
inLher arms.   She is the Chinese Madonna.
"Who is this Goddess of Mercy?" said
Cheng, to his audience of women. "She is
represented as the third daughter of Miao
Chuang Wang, and is called, as you know,
the San Miao Chu. Now, what does Miao
Chuang Wang mean ?fils it not the miao
of 'mysterious,' the chuang of 'place,' and
the wang  of   'king' ?   And what does   San
E£h££ MinHmNM
Miao Chu mean ?  San is 'third,' miao 'mysterious,' chu 'pearl.'
"The King of the Mysterious Place' is no
other than Self. The 'mysterious place'is the
heart. Self has four daughters residing in
the heart—they are Wine, Lust, Wealth and
Anger. Buddhism, thinking to gain the people's wealth, has laid hold on the third, the
'Third Mysterious Pearl,' wealth.
"They deceive you to get your gold. Our
Jesus is not so. He not only loves you but
he gave Himself for you. He suffered for
you, and now only wants your hearts' love
in return. He is the true Kuan Yin—His ear
ever open to the cries of earth. He heard
mine when I was in deepest distress, and I
know He will hear yours."
I was strongly impressed, after he had
given us his first sermon, that he was called
to preach. He had the influence and prestige
of a man of good birth and education, and
although shattered in physique, the Spirit
of God was so mighty in him that I felt we
must give him a place as a leader in the
church. He had said some time before, f'I
want to witness." The opportunity for
his witnessing had come, and it was my
duty to clear his way.
72 VIII.
A Minister and  a   Witness
HENG continued so
t o improve in
health and evinced
such earnestness of spirit that he was a great
help and inspiration, to
the church in Chang-
Teh. Ere long his way
)<W opened to definite work
for God. I sent him one
hundred miles up the
river to take an appointment temporarily
at a place where there
had been some trouble
in the church necessitating the removal of the
former evangelist. It
made it hard for Cheng
that years before when
'jM^ at the depth of his life
sjm0%  °f  sm> ne nad kept   an
^§gf   opium den in this very
mm x>mnmmmnv>
^"°-^'"'-r (fjnr~~ ■^■r—' *f*i—"1"^ i t-«-~-ft=^
place, and everybody knew him. Now they
could not understand howjf such a man
should so suddenly be preaching the gospel.
At first there was a lack of appreciation. He
felt it was a difficult position for him, but
his resort was prayer. §||
He would get up on the rostrum and
thunder away in the tremendous style he
had so suddenly acquired, jumping, gesticulating, and shouting.
The people were amazed, even shocked.
In fact one or two of the neighbors, who
were not Christians but friendly and sympathetic, came to me and asked if I would not
tell Cheng to improve his manners. They
said, "To us it suggests the theatre."
I said : "But do you not think the man
is genuine ? Does he not exhibit a change
of life ?". ■   'I     | H
"Oh !" they replied, "he is earnest and
sincere. We all believe that the man has experienced a thorough change of life, but the
trouble is that he screams too loud."
It wTas, however, nothing but his intense
zeal that stirred him to such manifestations.
In a short time,, requiring a strong,
steady man forHhe important work of open-
74 aig^grrrzEgEs?]
"j^c aja.-s^ti&sc'rgs
TO HCEAOttft Tfc:-
ing a new station, I took him to live with
me in the city of Nan-Chou where If we had
just succeeded in renting premises. Nan-
Chou had not had Christian work done
in it before. It was altogether a new be^
ginning, but, strange to say, when we got
our church opened up it was immediately
filled by a lot of roughs. This kept all self-
respecting people from coming to hear us.
Gradually the situation dawned upon
us, and Mr. Cheng and I felt that we must
either change these men or drive them away.
The situation must be either mended or
ended, and yet we wished to save as many
of them as we possibly could. We were convinced they were coming to us with a wrong
motive, seeking connection with the foreigners to do evil with impunity.
They evidently imagined we were like the
Roman Catholics, whose name in the city
for that sort of thing was just as vile as it
could be. Indeed we found that many of
them had been driven out of the Roman
Catholic communion, though more from
jealousy and faction than for their personal
wickedness. They expected to be able, under our protection, to get into all sorts of
/5 iirl
&m owun bihp
iSn i    i Kti i ii ji*-ttt 4*tir— ^t*-^- «-—--»—r—ft»~~-u»- <W->_
trouble on the street, and vet be   immune
from prosecution.
Mr. Cheng and I felt the burden very
much, though it nearly all devolved upon
him because I was away from home so fre-
quently. I had five or six out-stations which
required considerable supervision, and was
only in the city for a few days at a time.
Thus the work was almost wholly Mr.
Cheng's, and the dear old man was continually in prayer for his people.
He used to come to me with his troubles.
He said finally, "These are a pack of rascals coming to us. We have to get out on
the street and proclaim our message, or
people will begin to think the Gospel Hall
is made up of such as these."
So it was agreed that each Sabbath we
would preach on the street. We arranged
with one or other of the more respectable of
our adherents to let us have a place at the
front of his door, and this adherent would
prepare a platform, made of doors laid on
benches, with Chinese lanterns hung above
it, and a small tea-table to serve as a pulpit. At night when the lanterns were lit, it
presented  quite   a  respectable   appearance.
76 TO ni£ACKE0 iM
We were particular about this, for we wanted the street people to realize that it was an
important message we had to give, and designed to have all our surroundings in keeping with the proprieties of the occasion.
After tea we would walk down the
street. If it was dark I would have to
lead Cheng, as his eyes were so bad that at
night he could not see the uneven places.
Chinese streets are never lit up. The only
light is that which you carry in your hand.
Arrived at the place of preaching, we
wrould find a large crowd already gathered.
Sometimes the street would be closely packed. I have seen it literally solid with people
as far as we could see. Then Mr. Cheng and
I, with perhaps one or two helpers, would
mount the platform, and he would address
the audience.
The fact that he wras familiar with every
phase of Chinese life made his preaching intensely interesting to them. Being an official's son, he knew all phases of official life ;
as a student he could meet the needs of that
important class in China ; and having engaged in so many kinds of business, he
could readily interest the business men. This
-i Ml ~Vti~*'*~:T^i~~ ■ -v'mrw--::Ti7^"-'
mm mm mm
wide knowledge of life contributed largely
to his success.
On such an occasion I have heard him
tell, yet without seeming to tell it, that is,
without personal allusions, the story of his
own life, taking for his text, perhaps, the
parable of the Prodigal Son. He had a
really wonderful power in describing and
applying all the parts of that story, because
he had been through it all himself. When he
described the affluent young man, headstrong and reckless, leaving his own home
for the "far country" of sinful pleasure, he
could picture it from his own experience ;
and when telling of the prodigal's wTaste of
his substance, he knew that well, for he had
gone through thousands and thousands of
his own ; while when he came to speak of.
the poor fellow's wretchedness, and oft|his
living on the husks, he had himself known
the bitterness of that for nearly twenty
years. Then how tenderly he would bring in
the loving-kindness of the father who welcomed the prodigal back !
His story of the grace of God was always marvellously sweet because it had been
so sweet to him.   Although his patrimony
78 FaEfrrfc -jf Mug- r£
TO fll£A£K£ft
icSaS5asi«S:PET5J»'^ a^^t<S
could never come back to him, and although
his wife and family could never come back
to him, yet a large measure of his health
had been restored him. His skin had the
appearance of that of a man who was renewing his youth. Even his eyes, under
treatment, had improved in some measure,
and his strength had so increased that whilo
formerly it had been a tremendous effort to
walk two or three miles to the church, now,
through the grace of God, he could walk ten
or fifteen miles a day.
To him the love of God was exceedingly
precious, and he marvelled that He should
so bless him after years and years of misery
and disappointment, spent not only in deepest sorrow and loneliness, but in the deadly
grip of opium. Now, comparatively strong
in body, happy and hopeful in heart, freed
from the opium at last and with an assured
and joyous sense of sins forgiven, life had a
meaning it had never possessed before.
It was a great source of delight to him
to realize that he was no longer a misery to
himself and'others, but a real help, with the
position of a leader and even permitted to
preach the blessed gospel which had saved
79 him. This was the prodigal's return to him.
Sometimes the pathos in his voice as he
spoke of his former life, was most touching.
How tenderly grateful he was toward God,
and how affectionate toward me ! To his
Grace-Lord'' in heaven, and under Him,
to me his "grace-man" he felt he owed
i '.
80   "Full of the Holy Qhost and Wisdom*1
CHENG'S   pray-
erfulness   was
r emarkable.
He was never   content with less than
three     seasons    o f
prayer   every   day.
Often   when   going
to his room in the
%kV/^ niorning    on   some
Jkfrf^ matter       requiring
j| ^\Uj^£ immediate      atten-
^5?\ tion^||I have heard
him   pleading  with
God for  the   souls
of men and women.
What   his  room
w^as   to him alone,
-   I II     -      T    ■» Tt{M~r?.Sl ^^T^:~.~|V.Tr~^«JgSy
Tvi     ii rtnri ^r—m (JL3"^ -f<V-^"W*'ii^^1*iy>Ti.t-*M^=rrJ>l
my own room was to the helpers as a
whole. On the grey woollen mat in the centre of that room many a battle was won.
To that place were led all manner of afflicted ones—the opium patients with their
acute sufferings, the persecuted and the
friendless, the weak and the erring. Cheng
would lead them in, and together we would
ask for them the • help and healing sorely
Five populous counties were included
in our district (two other counties lay adjacent but we dared not attempt more), and
for these counties we were much in prayer.
On one occasion we prayed specifically
and importunately that we'might have during the ensuing year two hundred homes
clear from all idolatry and ancestral worship. Day after day for an hour we met and
poured out our souls to the "Lord of all
Grace.' Cheng's heart's cry was that the
people were as "mi-shih tih yang" (deluded,
lost lambs). "Lordjf Thou art the Good
Shepherd, lead them back into Thy fold,"
he pleaded.
The prayer was answered J During that
year    overt two    hundred   families   purified
84 ^teig£jia^*?7r^?H»affrat^^
their homes from these symbols of the reign
of darkness. No wonder that a recent report
of the work of God in that district states :
"Heathenism stands, in awe at the movement."
- On Sunday mornings, when the burden
of a service was upon him, Cheng would
steal away from his own room, where he
might be interrupted by someone-coming to
call upon him, or by people coming early for
the service, and find his way to the back of
our premises, Jlwhere in private he would
walk up and down, praying and singing, in
active soul-preparation.
I have seen him at such times with both
hands stretched upwards as if he were literally drawing down the power from on high,
and heard him cry out to God in song to
the air of "Even me," some choruses we had
rendered into Chinese :
"K'ai tao o, k'ai tao o,
Ch'i ch'iu Sheng Shen, K'ai tao o."
(Instruct me, instruct me,
Holy Spirit, instruct me,)
"Ch'ong man o, ch'ong man o,
Ch'i ch'iu Sheng Shen, Ch'ong man o."
(Fill me full, fill me full,
Holy Spirit, fill me full).
1     -    B
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mm mm binp
L#°*"--^'*-m V-f; '**
.-a t'l^lITt
Or he might be kneeling, with his heart
full of blessing, and his gentle utterances
more like the cooing of a dove than articulate prayer.
He lived in rapt communion with his
Heavenly Father. I have seen him moving
about his room drawing in his breath as
though the very air were full of sweetness,
and he were partaking of it as of honey
from the comb.
From this refreshment he would go at
the sound of the ringing of the bell, and
take his place on the platform for preaching. Under such an inspiration his opening
prayer was always a source of blessing. Then
with what agility he would rise to his feet,
(for a man who had been on the verge of
the grave for so many years),l§open the
Bible and announce his text with his face all
aglow. That face, once so thin' and wan,
now shone with the light of God.
His power over his audience was very
great. I have seen them in tears more than
once, and this is saying a great deal for a
phlegmatic Chinese audience. With a few
quick touches of his quaint yet dignified
style he laid bare his hearers' hearts.     He
■yFyffl-tESgg-TfT mggg^-lTJ^. U- 1 f JT=^, IT4W R^IF»^- f
described their sin and need with keen   insight, often reverting to his own experiences
and telling how God had saved him.   Had
he not been the very chief of sinners,   and
had he not been lower than any of them ?
"Ni men puh hsiao teh.k'u, muh Iff ch'ih
ko kw'ei," he would say ; "You don't know7
what bitterness is, you have never eaten
loss. But my myriad forms of bitterness
have been changed into myriad forms of
grace. Then I suffered Satan's torment, now
I joy in Jesus' love." With tears running
down his face he would give glory to God
for his physical recovery and spiritual enlightenment.
Not only upon his public audiences did
he have such power, it extended to visitors
who came to see him in the guest hall.
Often I would find him at prayer with men
who had never been to our place before, who
knew nothing about prayer but what he
had just told them. Having assured them
of its efficacy, he had persuaded them to
kneel with him, and there he would be teaching them their first lessons in the art of true
prayer. This showed much persuasive power
for many would naturally be unwilling to
87 ^m,..  «■■—    ^K"l'l _ mm. ■
kneel, their superstition causing them to be
afraid to do so, or their unbelief and pride,
such that it would be repugnant to them.
Occasionally a visitor would come to
him with some ulterior motive. He might
be a litigant, having a case at law pending
in the magistrate's yamen, whose heart was
full of bitterness against his opponent. The
case perhaps was going against him, since
his foe had more funds at his disposal, or
the assistance of some of the gentry.
To counterbalance this, he had come to
the Gospel Hall to get help from the foreigner, for that obtained he would feel sure
of success. If the foreigner proved obdurate,
help from the native evangelist would be
valuable if he could get it—for unauthorized
use of a missionary's card and influence had
worked wonders more than once in the
wretchedly unjust courts of China. If simple
persuasion were not sufficient he would try.
to bribe the evangelist. Often has Mr. Cheng
come to me, telling how he had just been
approached by a man who had offered him
a couple of hundred dollars, or several hundred acres of land, or made him some other
such offer for his help.
88 fe-fr3^-~-"i IjJ I" " >1DIM'*•—*** — ?'•+»■—- Bam:*>l.x-ii.^lfaerss-i
He had marvellous skill with people of
this kind*| I have heard him go into i|the
very heart of the case with his visitor, who
supposing him to be intensely interested and
possibly ready to help, would tell him all.
When Cheng had heard the entire story, how
he would lay bare the folly of the proceeding ! How he would show the man the sin
of cherishing enmity, and the utter foolishness of going on with the case ! He would
say, "Is not winning, losing ? Do you not
lose more in the long run ? For through
not losing your case, you lose your friend !"
In such conversations his language was
always rich with Chinese proverbs, most applicable to the case in hand. "Yao teh ren
fuh o, ch'u pih o fuh ren," he would quote ;
"To get a man to yield to me, I must first
yield to the man.' Such a proverb would
come with great weight to his visitor, because of||the source from which it was
quoted,Ht)hough no doubt very much increased in effect by the spirit in which the
quotation was made. Then he would reason
of right and wrong, of God and salvation,
and put the gospel in such an enticing way
as to  make  men  feel   they  would  be   tre-
I iwwiynraNP
5 i
gulj ifc«n—. u
i^^-,_ a^-^. —it ■>— (rgrrr-rr<^.-» m—tiv^|   [- -u,, -f
mendous losers if they did. not throw aside
not only the particular enmity they w^ere indulging, but everything in the world, that
would keep them from obtaining so glorious
a possession as Christ's salvation.
I have knowrn men to come to the church
with a bribe in their hands and revenge in
their hearts, and to leave it ready to make
peace with their enemies, even at a loss.
And when peace had been made they would
find their way back again to the church to
hear more from this wise old man.
Many preachers have the ability to withstand litigants like these when they come to
seek the aid of the church, but have not the
faculty of imparting to them any positive
blessing, much less of winning them over to
the gospel. Some indeed are taken in by
their wiles. Few there are who evince the
remarkable power Mr. Cheng possessed.
Perhaps it was the result of his own experience during long years of litigation, when
recognized as the strongest man in his district to whom appeal could be made for
such help. He well knew all the ins and
outs of Chinese law courts, and how often
the blow intended for his enemy descended
on the litigant's own head.
90 X.
Mr.   Cheng's First Spiritual Son  and Grandson in
MR.     CHENG'S    first
convert     i n    Nan-
Chou was Liu Fuh
Tai.     He was  a  bamboo
worker, and owned a shop
and had eight or nine men
working under him.      He
came to the  church,  first
of  all,  with the crowd   of
roughs, of   whom mention
has   already   been   made.
While    not    vicious    like
many of   them, he was of
the rough and ready type,
and    very
much    inclined  to
resent any
with blows.
Unable  to
bear the  heat of   the summer   in his   little
shop,   he   had   been   accustomed    to make
■ . MHM
/Vn-Tiiri i- j'"iitn    iT?t-~- -*£»—» \t■**+'.'t^ri-*. >
yearly pilgrimages to the famous holy
mountain of Hunan, and there pray to the
idols for a renewal of health. In his shop
he had no less than nine idols, which he
worshipped most assiduously. He was in
fact a perfect slave to idol worship. He
came, too, from a part of Hunan where it
has a more thorough hold on the people
than perhaps anywhere else.
Shortly after wre opened up work in Nan
Chou he came to us. The old year was
drawing to its close and Mr. Cheng strongly,
urged those who came to worship to begin
the New Year wdth God, and put away all
the foolish practices of heathenism.
Liu was deeply impressed wTith the
strong personality of the preacher ; and, on
the fifteenth dav of the first moon of the
New Year, instead oi entering upon itpby
participating in idol processions and renewing the worship in his own shop, he decided
to follow the "Jesus doctrine.' He let it be
known that he intendediAo put away his
idols, and his friends hastily- came and took
them away for fear;he. might destroy them.
To one who had held€to idolatry||so
loner and so earnestly this was a tremendous
92 TO fltEACKEfl
step to take ; and strange to say, that very
evening he became ill, and muttered through
the night in an attack of delirium. The next
day, though still weak and ill, he made his
way to the chapel, where Mr. Cheng and I
prayed with him, gave him medicine, and
sent him home more determined than ever
to follow God, regardless of any harm
Satan might do him.
From this time his growth in grace was
steady. We soon heard that he was having
daily worship in his shop with his workmen. He was gaining'considerable power in
prayer too. So earnest a life could not but
bring on persecution, for he would not enter
into heathen ceremonies, or contribute to
the subscriptions constantly being taken up
in China for all sorts of idolatrous purposes. The business men near his shop told
him they would no longer allow him to do
business there since he refused to bear his
share of the expense of the spiritual welfare
of the community.
One day a blacksmith who had a shop
next door, careless of the sparks that flew
from his anvil,  set fire to the matting   of
^Li&r 1
. •  *fr     _i
Liu's wall. It had barely caught fire when
it was extinguished, but his neighbors
seized the opportunity to declare that the
God of Fire was evidently displeased with
him, and that he must head with a goodly
sum a subscription list which would be passed round, and thus aid in paying priests to
appease the offended deity. He came to interview Mr. Cheng in regard to this matter
and told him that the neighbors were all
against him, and would not allow him to
do business at his old stand ; declaring that
if the God of Fire were not appeased, wrath
would descend upon the community. "What
shall I do ?" he asked, in great perplexity.
Thrown upon his own resources, Mr.
Cheng sought light in prayer. Like a flash
"a bold plan came to him which he broached
to Liu.
"Mr. Liu," he said, "to-morrow is Sunday, and in accordance with our custom of
preaching on the street on Sabbath evenings, let us to-morrow preach in front of
your shop, that we may reach your neighborhood directly. For," he continued, "we
have several things to accomplish.   We must
p.i f£
n»<^f5r^<^-m'nT-'ft*»-.. -q
let your neighbors knowr who is the real
God of Providence, and the folly of appealing to this God of Fire. Besides, we want to
let the people of that entire neighborhood
know that you are one of us, and that our
teaching is all of a high moral character.
In fact, we wrant to unfold the whole blessed
plan of salvation to them.' Liu consented
and so the matter was arranged.
At this time Liu was expecting a visit
from his elder brother, who wras to arrive in
a day or two.
On Sunday evening, Mr. Cheng and a
number of adherents made their way to
Liu's shop, in front of which had been erected a platform with a profusion of Chinese
The street was (Crowded. The people evidently wranted to hear what attitude the
Gospel Hall would take in this matter agitating the minds of all. There was keen interest and no little excitement, and I do not
doubt that if Mr. Cheng had been unwise in
his attitude, or had been harshly aggressive
instead of having his message saturated
with   love,   Liu   and  he  might   have  been
it. I ell-
? .'.TMC •h' m* '' if * liFrgff^^   fVfr-. Tl *fr'.-< >
rioted that very evening, such was the intense feeling.
But he had been waiting much before the
Throne that day. "You must, you must
help your slave," he had cried to God.
"Give me the .victory, and let the people see
the light." f 111
The story was told me when I returned.
For an hour and a half he held forth, sweeping everything before him. There was no
weak moment, no weak point which the
keen crowd might take advantage of to jeer
him. The power of God resting upon such
audiences had saved him from violence before, and so it was now. A foreign friend
present told me he had never seen Cheng so
wrought up, consumed, aflame, now speaking in piercing tones of bitter sarcasm,
again in tenderest tones of pleading love.
For several days after he was unable to do
anything, being both hoarse and weak. But
even in his weakness, a faint smile played
over his face, the triumphant smile of a man
conscious the Spirit had had His way and
swept through him in pentecostal power.
He strongly impressed upon his audience
that whatever Mr. Liu had been in the past,
96   wn VSCffSgH^lBESaiB^^
to mB$*W$m fct'i
his life now would be so guided by lofty
principles that he would make the most*
peaceable of citizens and the best of neighbors. Before concluding, he further disarmed prejudice by giving the whole neighborhood a hearty invitation to come to the
church to hear more of Jesus and His salvation.
Just as he had finished § there was a
movement on the outside of the crowd, and
a number of men carrying a stretcher were
seen forcing their,way to the platform. Upon it lay a man apparently in the throes of
death. When Liu looked at him he suddenly
exclaimed, "Why, it is my brother whom I
was expecting !' Upon inquiry, for his brother wras too weak to speak, the bearers told
him that he had become very ill two or
three miles from the city, and unable to proceed farther, had persuaded them to carry
him to his brother's.
At this strange interruption, many were
the head-shakings and mutterings among
the crowd. "The spirits after all are displeased with Liu," said some, "and though
the God of Fire did not punish him, yet see
his brother at the borders of death !    Sure-
JB itfWiorounraNP
TtSa^ (t^T-K^^fn^-J^11 liM.^.ilhr*
ly the?spirits are angry with Liu for taking
up with this foreign religion." But they dispersed quietly, and the sick man was
brought indoors.
This was a new burden for Mr. Cheng
and Liu ; for the one as the representative
of the gospel in that district, and for the
other as a believer of the gospel.
Liu's elder brother was apparently going to die on his hands. What was to be
done ? Prayer was the one resort, so that
evening much prayer was made for the sick
man. Next morning he was considerably
better. Once more Liu washable to hold his
head high among his neighbors. Though
his brother had come to him so ill, his God
was able for any occasion.
But this elder .brother was a peculiar individual. In two or three days, when just
able to be up, instead of thanking God, he
went to the temple and sacrificed to the
idols there, whom he thanked for his recovery. Next day he was again ill, and again
Mr. Cheng was called in. By the use of such
medicine \ as they knew of, and theJpnore
powerful aid of fervent prayer, the man was
again restored. WHS
fcryiffiffv ntpn- - iir^iiu i  :n in '-ir."—rr-iri—t-
Again he repaired to the temple to
thank the idols, and again he became ill.
This time his recovery was much more slow.
Although we all endeavored to help him
spiritually, his evil purposes evidently dominated him, and the gospel took no root.
After several weeks he became well, and
then told his brother why he had come. He
needed several hundred dollars to pay a debt
incurred in a lawsuit which had gone
against him. His brother not having the
money at hand, or even half the amount,
could not but refuse him. The other grew
angry, precipitated a quarrel, seized the
shop and goods, declared he would run the
business, and drove his younger brother out.
In great distress Liu came to the chapel
and interviewed Mr. Cheng. What was to be
done with this brother, who after receiving
so much kindness during his illness, could
act in this unreasonable manner ? Mr. Cheng
listened with sympathetic and yet troubled
heart. What could be done ? It certainly
was a difficult case.
There was no intention to go to law.
On the contrary Liu had prayed most earnestly that his brother might be saved ; and
IOI i       I       ■■ ii in      „ Mill i hi i i      irri—m  ,ki   -^^"»im«>Tr^Ff^=rrrf—"3
lei mon mm muvm
he desired to be truly Christian in his treat-
ment of him, if by any means he might win
As usual when in trouble they went to
their knees, but Mr. Cheng could get no
light. When, after a little, they arose,
imagine his surprise at Liu's saying to him
in a quiet tone, "How would it be if I just
let mv elder brother have it all ?"
"Well," said Mr. Cheng, "if you are able
to do that, then there is no problem at all.
Then it is easy enough." Thus, accordingly,
the matter was decided. Liu came to live
for a few days at the chapel, for he wTas
actually driven out, and wishing to gain his
brother, let him have his way.
In the city was an official relative of
Liu's to whom he could easily have appealed for help, but on his own initiative and
entirely for the love of Christ, he refused to
do so. So in the course of a few7 weeks the
goods in the shop were all sold out. Not
satisfied with this the elder brother tore
down the house and sold it bit bv bit.
At this time he was visited by Liu, who
pointing to some things not yet disposed of,
said,  "Elder brother, you may have these
102 Dte5£3£
too.' This depth of love and self-sacrifice
wras too much for the other, who burst into
a flood of tears, and promised restitution.
BySthe next day, however, his heart had
again become hardened, and he took his departure from the city.
This story would not be complete without mentioning one thing more. A month
or so after, Liu, now withoutjlmeans of
livelihood, took some gospel portions with
him and visited a city about twenty miles
down the river, where, he intended to sell
them. At this place there happened to reside a member of his clan, a minor military
Of course Liu went to see him — and
whom should he find there but his elder
brother ! The latter was staying with this
relative, afraid and ashamed to go home,
lest tidings of his disgraceful conduct miorht,
in some wray, have reached there. Imagine
his surprise and uneasiness at seeing Liu,
and his fear that his brother would tell this
official relative of his shameful actions. But
it was simply in line with Liu's former action and the lofty Christian principles he
had shown throughout, that though he re-
103 •M  ■ ^"'   -*^=-" f^.^- ilfy%
mained several days, he never mentioned the
matter at all.
Mr. Cheng often spoke with delight of
the power of Christ in this his first convert,
and I would say to him, "Although during
your first six months in Nan Chou there
are not many converts to whom we can
point, one like Liu is worth a hundred."
During his years of misfortune he had
lost, as we have seen, all his children ; and
he rejoiced that in this period of renewal of
his life and activities there were given him
children in the gospel. Liu, his first-born in
the Spirit at Nan-Chou, quickly became an
earnest soul-winner himself.
One "day there came to us a young fish
dealer complaining of agonizing pain in the
head.MThe man's eyes were blood-shot and
he was suffering intensely. Liu brought him
to me, and I gave him something which if it
did not cure, would at least not injure
him. Too busy myself to spend more time
with him Hat the moment, I asked Liu to
take him to his room for instruction and
prayer. He came again and again, his
health improving steadily and Liu continuing to deal with him earnestly and successfully.
104 to mE&cmft i±
One day he invited his favorite teacher
to accompany him home. His wife, grateful
for her husband's recovery, received instruction readily. The symbols of idolatrous
worship were taken down and family prayer
established. Soon husband and wife were
united in the faith.
I shall not readily forget Cheng's ejaculations of delight the first time this spiritual
grandson of his publicly engaged in prayer
in one of our social meetings. Strongly emotional as he was, the young man had a
peculiarity of utterance in prayer which I
find it impossible to describe. His deep sense
of unworthiness and gratitude seemed to
overwhelm him, and found expression in
tones in which weeping and rejoicing were
strangely and yet touchingly mingled.
io;   un iwnp
^"=°-»—^? "•-!»■  (*ir— -«^»-^ <r.—. i.-^-^w^-A=fr   )ul ^_ lljy
physician was left to whistle for his money.
Yang, bitter at heart, sought the help of
others of the gentry to get his dues. Still
further to strengthen his position, he proposed to connect himself with the foreign
religion, and began to attend the Gospel
Hall. Despite his ulterior motive, of which
of course we were entirely ignorant, Cheng's
strong personality began to grip him. One
day a messenger brought news that Yang
was using his connection with us to further
his case with the gentry. I consequently felt
it necessary to adopt severe measures, and
promptly turned him out.
But to Cheng he seemed as a sheep likely
to be lost. Next day my dear old evangelist went to his home. Shrewdly he excused
my harsh treatment, by explaining jithat at
times a stern executive was necessary to
keep the church pure, that Christ's temple
become not a den of thieves.flj
Then he showed Yang the privilege of
yielding up this claim of his altogether, for
the gospel's sake. Would not the gentry
and the entire city hear of it ? It would
help oiir good name ; and how it would
shame   the   Catholics !     Best   of   all,    God
108 to Wmmm
3QC3E3J?5?Bi *»SS22ffiEs^S;«,J
would bless him and make it up to him
many fold.
"Come back again, Yang," he said.
'Bring your wife, break off opium and be a
happy man."
Yang was touched, and yielded every
point. "But go and see if the pastor will
receive me back."
"No fear of that—he'll be delightedjto
have you, now," said Cheng.
And Yang came. Ere long, not only he
but his wife, son, and daughter-in-law had
been baptized. The opium gone and his
heart at rest, he soon became fat and rosy.
"Pastor !" he exclaimed, "what sweetness came into my heart when, for Jesus'
sake, I yielded up my just claim !" Cheng
remarked gaily, "You would never have
come to it if the pastor had not put you
out !"     jj   '    *
The story of Yang suggests another no
less interesting. Yang had a friend named
Hsie, a schoolmaster, to whom he confided
the joy of his new-found treasure.
With purer motives than his friend had
first shown, Hsie came to us. His was not
a bright or happy disposition.   He had bad
109 a55KI.'-v^s.
eyes, was poor, and had no joy in life. He
had hoped to get a position as teacher in the
city, but his patron, who lived in the country, would not hear of Hsie's leaving, and
eventually persuaded him to continue the
school in his house for the next year. Hsie
came regularly to service, it being holiday
time. He was getting medicine for his eyes,
and, through Cheng, a more blessed medicine for his soul.
All went well until the fifteenth day of
the New Year. In a short time he expected
to return to his country school. On this
day, however, a coolie came to his house
with a lot of luggage, threw it down at
the outer door and went off without a word
of explanation. Hsie at once knew what
was wrong. The luggage was his own and
had been left at his patron's. His patron
had heard of his connection with the Gospel
Hall, and had decided to cast him off. But
it was too late now to secure another
school. What would he and his family do
for a livelihood ?
Full of wrath, he sought Cheng's advice
as to prosecuting his former patron. Cheng
listened   with  a heavy heart.     How  often to irWmm§
Satan had prepared just such pitfalls for
the lambs about to be brought into the
fold ! "Hsie," he sympathetically said,
"you have the right on your side. According to custom you can compel remuneration. It was despicably mean to return
your luggage in that rude way, and dismiss
you without a word."
Hsie, yet a child in the spiritual life, requested Cheng to champion his interests.
"You Ho not understand our position in
these things very well, Hsie," answered
Cheng. "Let usjhave a word of prayer,
asking God to open up a way, and then go
home, and we'll think it over. Come again
By the next day I had arrived home
from visiting the out-stations, and Cheng
sadly told me of Hsie's difficulty. "He is
unfitted to do anything else, and how is he
to live this year ?" he said.
It did not take us long to decide that as
a church we could not champion his interests in any way. It was not hard, either, to
convince Hsie of the wisdom of such a decision.   But what was Hsie himself to do ?
At Cheng's suggestion, a half dozen of
in -"=—hrrr " ' ''-r—rr—t*.'—b."1 irf ,-^r- .r^        '"--ai^"     V
nun ton p<
_v» ff^r n^-H-   i     )-m,   j'-'m |-'—  f-
us held a special prayer meeting in our
guest-hall. Cheng's burden was, €hat Hsie
might get a rich blessing out of this dire
difficulty, that the church might be honored,
and God glorifieddf He was sure then that
all other things would be "added." Hsie
was for petitioning the mandarin over literary affairs, and thus going to law. We
all admitted that he had the right, and this
might be done. But Cheng's knowledge of
the courts led him to caution Hsie.
"You know it costs money to go to law
in our Middle Kingdom," he said. "Your
patron, too, is a man of influence and
means ; are you sure you could win ? For
might is right with us here, every day."
But Hsie was determined to have his
rights at any cost. His blood was up, and
he must "save his face." The sting of his
patron's treatment had gone deep.
Suddenly Cheng went on another tack.
"Hsie," said he, in measured tones, "you
will not only lose in money, I fear you will
lose in soul. You are just beginning the
Christian way and Satan is casting about
to destroy you. Let me advise you to turn
his  weapon  against  himself.   By so   doing
112 :«SSr723=£b3iSri
g—y i
you will gain a complete victory, which
would greatly help you now, and color your
whole Christian life. Yield now to your adversary, and the full blessing Jesus will give
you will recompense you. We will trust God
for your livelihood for this year. Come and
let the church have this added testimony.
Remember your friend Yang and his joy in
There was much power in prayer — and
some tears — and Hsie, as yet undecided,
went home to think it over. He spent the
night in deep thought. As the watches
passed his feelings changed, and he said to
himself, "Shall I yield, shall I ? Yes, '.IT1
yield ! I'll take old Mr. Cheng's advice,"
and he fell asleep.
Several days later he told me, "When I
arose in the morning, I had a new feeling in
my heart. The old unhappy, restless, peevish feeling of many years was gone, and I
could scarcely understand the quiet peace
and joy that stirred within me." Cheng
was overjoyed that Satan's wiles had been
defeated, and Hsie became overjoyed too.
The patron, meanwhile, grew Uneasy.
What did this silence on Hsie's part mean ?
iJ3 ES
~JT*~~ (T^- -tg;^ u.—ri^jj-teppi
He sent men to inquire, and Hsie told them
to tell him that it was the glory of the
Gospel Hall to freely forgive their enemies.
Several days later he sent an apology, in
the shape of a feast, to Hsie's house. Hsie
hurried over to Cheng to ask him for advice. The venerable teacher had ever given
him such excellent counsel, he would ask it
again. ffi
Cheng listened to his tale with much interest. "Do you want the feast, seeing that
now your 'face' is restored you ?" said he.
Hsie's heart leaped at the new opportunity
thus hinted at. " When I have forgiven
I have forgiven. Why then the feast ? I
shall send the bearers back with it, saying,
|| have the joy of freely forgiving, is that
not sufficient for me ?' "
The church rallied round Hsie and helped him over the crisis, and I sent him to the
hospital, where his eyesight was, to use his
own expression, "three-tenths improved,'j
and he was sure God had done wonderful
things for him, whereof he was glad.
114   WHEN I first visited Nan-
Chou I called on the
chief mandarin, and informed him that I was soon
coming to the city to establish
a church there. He tried to
dissuade me, but I told him I
must come.
Two years later, when we
had become the best of friends,
and he had received his little
grandson back to life through
the medicine and care of the
Gospel Hall, he said to me one
day as we were chatting together, "When you first came I
felt very apprehensive. The Roman Catholics  were giving   us SK;
Vrr ■■— frrn—-r f^1'
•1 Pi
no end of trouble ; how did I know but the
Gospel Hall would be just like them ?
"I thought, too, if these rival churches
begin quarrelling with each other, who knows
whereunto it may lead ? Hence I was very
anxious, but now," here he pressed my hand
warmly, "I cannot be grateful enough for
your coming. My little grandson, had we
not given him up ? Others of my family,
too, have been cured by your skill.
"The Gospel Hall has not only not given
us any trouble, it seems to have had a distinct power for good in the community. The
gentry praise you. The people have no complaints.
"I know personally of some connected
with you who might have come before me
with perfectly just grievances, who preferred
to suffer wrong rather than have it known
that a member of the Gospel Hall had a
case in the courts. More than this ; the
Catholics gave us less trouble during the
past year. The gentry say it is the power
of the example of the Gospel Hall."
At the outset of our work in Nan-Chou,
Mr. Cheng and I were careful to invite the
gentry   to our church to discuss with them
118 «iHB
fj^rTr^t^rTw''firr^;iti^'!=^-j,~'r-l-<; '\tt-—^j^rrr-ji^r1  "/r^rngr—r^r"8'"^
matters in which they and our church members might be concerned. While we asked
that justice should be done our people, we
wished it clearly understood that on no account would we interfere with their decisions. In all matters, except idolatrous worship, our members would be as subject to
them as ever.
As a consequence the gentry were delighted, especially with our frank straightforwardness, and our recognition of their
position and authority. They had suffered
many indignities at the hands of the Roman
Catholics who recognized only the authority
of their priest. Many times had they had
to send apologies to him for supposed
wrongs done members of that fear-inspiring
communion. So they would speak of us as
cheng, i.e., upright or just. Thus our good
name went forth.
The Tien Chu Chiao (Heavenly Lord Religion), as the Roman Catholics designate
their church, bore in Nan-Chou, as elsewhere
in China, a bad reputation.
It was a rough place, and the roughest
found protection under l|the aegis of the
church.    They   quickly  learnt  that   a   new
119 ~ -       l«ws^-"- ^Z~-,l «,frfSi--^=
-■'*• ^ff— -"-»— <'-—- l^Ttf^-fJ—M^-
power had come into their midst, the power
of "Great France," and connecting themselves with it were able now to terrorize the
poor and merchant classes, and to defy the
laws, the gentry, and the officials.
The Catholics had long boasted that the
Gospel Hall dared not come to Nan-Chou.
When we came they were proportionately
angry. On one occasion they seized one of
my colporteurs, who was selling books on
the street. But for my near presence and
that of several soldiers, there would have
been a row, and as it was, they marched
one of the soldiers off to their Hall ! One
never knew what a day might bring forth.
But Mr. Cheng was wise, patient and
strong. He would say, "This helps rather
than hinders; the worse they are, the better
we are by contrast. The people praise us
for the evil we do not do, even when they
refuse to see any positive good in us. The
Catholics make our business livelier. Besides, now that other forms of persecution
are dhninishing through official protection,
if it were not for Catholic opposition, we
would be so peaceful as to lapse into sleep,
inertia, and spiritual death.   God is   using
120 IJlSsSS?!!
to W@m&m
them to keep us wakeful and prayerful."
As we grew familiar with our audiences,
we found that a small percentage was composed of Roman Catholics, who came frequently. We encouraged them to come, and
after a time heard from them such remarks
as this : "We haven't the New Testament at
our Hall, only prayers and catechism. We
enjoy the preaching and we want to learn.'
Gradually we eliminated the unrepentant
element among us, and the members of our
community rapidly acquired a name for
righteousness of life. This also helped to
shame the Roman Catholics, so that some
of them admitted to us, " Before we
did not know what the gospel was like ; but
Mr. Cheng not only preaches well—he lives
it, too, and so do his followers."
121 s; "i-^
■ '
Though man's heart is iron,
i it* w
the law is a furnace.
ir >* f it
If the official is honorable, his clerks grow lean;
if the idol is efficacious, the temple-keeper grows fat.
Money dropped into a yamen-runner s hands
is like a sheep dropped into the mouth of a tiger.
We Start an Opium Refuge
CHENG'S  was the first case of cure of
the opium habit that came under my
close observation.   It taught me that
a most difficult case could' be undertaken if
there were faith in God.
When closer supervision could be   given
the   Shi-Shou church,   the
unruly members were disciplined,   and  about twelve
confessed   to   being  under
the power of opium.   They
had    faithfully    tried    to
break off from it but could
not succeed of themselves,
and in troublous times like
the   year   of   the   Boxer
riots   when    supervision     was
impossible,    i 11-
ness    had  come
to   some,    hope
had    fled    from
others, and they
had      gradually
yielded    to    the
^r fiSj
*f——4t"—   t*rii   i   ffi"     --aj~*~— iT.,—l .iSv.ih«..i. ii    i..,. ■==- f»^^-"**
-^•'1-—: " **-—n—'«——*i=^-  K^- ^- -U-tg-a
full appetite once more. They gladly
consented to bring bedding and baggage to
the church, and money to pay for their keep
for one month. I was to come and Cheng—
we would take charge of them and lock the
doors, and they would, at any cost, get rid
of the drug.
Thus our opium refuge work was forced
upon us. Of the first number who came,
some suffered intensely, but all went home
rejoicing and free. A certain tea-shop
spread a story that one of the patients had
died; so when all were well enough, we
went in a body, single file, to that tea-shop,
ordered tea, and then and there rendered
public testimony that the rumor was false,
and that God had kept every one. Of
course, the news spread far and wide.
From that time we wrere besieged with
requests to take other opium victims for
cure. Our reply was that we would receive
inquirers only. We made a rule that the
opium users must, previous to entering our
refuge, attend divine service for at least
three months to learn the gospel and the
rudiments of prayer ; idolatry, too, mrist be
put away.   As Mr. Cheng said, "If you are
124 r* *"■•—*rii .lilj—m_'!i
ing^SigascrjaMa: .ra-Tiapn~rr?t t iC-r
going to belong to God you must not hang
out the devil's sign."   So the work began.
By this time Nan-Chou had become the
central station of the district. The first to
come were men who had known the gospel
for some time, but had been hindered because of opium from making progress and
being baptized.
The good doctor at Chang-Teh fitted me
out with necessary medicines and instructions. We had a number of extra beds made
and brought straw to spread on the floor
in case the beds were insufficient.
Our property at Nan-Chou consisted of
two one-storey dwellings, one in front of
the other. The rear building was the residence of the missionary. The front dwelling
consisted of seven rooms, three on each side,
the large central room being used as a
chapel. One room had to be given up for
kitchen purposes, and another for use as a
guest hall, leaving but four rooms. In these
the opium patients slept—four, five, and six
in a room, on beds or on the floor.
On the day appointed they would come
in ones and twos, with a coolie carrying the
i*5 luggage. Heartiest greetings awaited them,
for smiles and sunshine were the practice of
our household. With merry laughter, as if
it were a bit of fun, we would search clothing, bedding, and box for opium or morphia
pellets. It was custom, this searching—and
who does not yield to established custom ?
Then, if the registration fee of one dollar
for rice and medicine were ready, with some
ceremony Mr. Cheng would lead them to the
building in which the missionary lived. Here
their names, ages, and places of residence
were written down, and also their answers
to questions as to how long they had used
the drug, how much, and how often they
had smoked per day, why they had begun to
use it—from disease or otherwise, whether
they had any disease at present, etc. The
money was paid over and a number given
the patient ; the ceremonial cup of tea and
a quiet little talk about the necessity for
trust and endurance ending the interview.
During such times, many were* our discomforts. There might be three or four
sleeping in Mr. Cheng's own room. We purposely distributed the patients among the
apartments of our helpers so that we could
126 m^sssi
m to FKSm^M
have better inspection over them at all
times night and day. The kitchen was running at full blast, for there were, helpers
and all, from twenty to twenty-five at table.
It afforded a splendid chance for soul-
winning effort. Our helpers were carefully
instructed to make the utmost of the opportunity, and we were all much in prayer beforehand. Our two religious services each
day were bright with joyful singing and
earnest preaching. Cheng's ringing messages were full of convincing power.
As the days passed, the patients grew7
weaker—some despondent, some really ill,
with vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite,
pains everywhere, and what was a sore
trial, sleeplessness. Sometimes their agony
was such that they cried out, rolled to and
fro on their beds, or paced the floor in distress that often amounted to desperation. I
have seen some in delirium, climbing up the
wall fighting an imaginary demon. From
the fifth to the eighth day, few of us slept
at all. Such groaning and loud yawning,
such knocking of their arms or legs against
the walls or upon the beds to shake off the
persistent   "sour pain" in the bones !     No
%*m m
Jl¥W.   ErTr-aa-IS
'•"— -" * •—■t— ^"—^
! ':'
wonder my courage failed me with every
new lot of patients, and I used to ask myself, with a sinking heart, why I was foolish enough to try it again.
Then it was that Cheng was of greatest
help. "Medicine?" he would say. "Yes, I'd
take you in to the teacher for medicine, but
that only helps the body—your trouble is at
the heart. There are two appetites — the
bodily craving, and the craving of the
heart. How many of us left opium for
weeks in the old days, only to finally succumb because our hearts still longed for it.
Physical medicine may help the body but
prayer medicine is what you need for the
root of your trouble. If opium is not a
demon it is very like one, and Jesus has his
old-time power.   He can help you."
All through the night he would be comforting this one, or praying with that one.
"I know you are having a bad time," he
would say, "but it is not half as bad as I
had. You have a strong body, while mine
had a hundred diseases. You are much
younger than I was ; you have not smoked
nearly so long, nor have you so large an
appetite as I had. Why, it used to take until daylight to satisfy me !"
1 l_-t-l    CM-  -l'?t±.
to vmmmE^
With a laugh, he would tell how he had
turned night into day in the old times. "We
needed no night watchman at our house,"
he would say, "for I kept the watches
through, on the opium couch; and the
thief seeing my little opium light dared not
enter. You see opium is of some use, after
all.   Ha ! ha !" j§
In spite of themselves" they would all
laugh, when he would add, "No wonder we
called it the fuh shou kao—the ointment of
long life and prosperity—when with plenty
of money, plenty of opium, and, of course,
while these lasted, plenty of friends, over the
pipe to merry conversation, we drove dull
care away. Yes ! those were happy days—
full of the devil's happiness !" This would
come out with biting emphasis. "Aye ! we
soon found out that, while at night we
could rise to joy of the immortal, the
sprightliness of the fairy, in the morning —
ah ! next morning, where were we ? Where
was the fairy-immortal then ? Where our
happiness then ? From our heaven we felt
ourselves cast into hell—a hell of misery and
f'Each night it took more of money and
129 Jffiwin 1
opium to rise to the same height of enjoyment, and each next morning—without the
cost of a cash—you felt yourself in a lower
hell. ||| |     f   .    H    j
"Houses and lands were being consumed
in opium smoke, body and soul shrunk by
the bitter drug until the fine gentleman of
younger days was becoming a shadow — a
dark shadow — what does the colloquial call
him ? Kwei—kwei—yen kwei—a demon—a
demon—an opium demon !
"Then the money grew less and less—but
the appetite more and more. Eat less, wear
less—but always smoke more and more.
Then disease and want—friends no longer
crowd you round—but this opium, how it
masters you—never for a single day can you
put it off—you are fast—fast—bound as with
iron chains—bound fast.
"Such was I, ah ! such was I—until I
heard the message—until I met a man—until
I found my Jesus—JESUS—" he would
shout, "Jesus delivered me body and soul
and now I'm free—I'm free from the net —
Satan's net. Now I'm happy indeed. This
is the chen kw'ai hoh—true happiness, the
chen p'ing   an—true   peace;   not  the   false
happiness and false peace the devil gives.
The former slave of Satan is now without
a care or worry"—this with a veritable
whoop of triumph as he turned away to
help some other troubled, anxious sufferer.
I remember his coming and waking me,
one night after midnight, saying that a certain patient was tossing on his bed in terrible agony. Would the teacher mind getting
up and joining him in prayer for him ? I
arose as quickly as I could, and we proceeded to this man's cot, and found him in awful distress.
He had been a ri shih hoh (twenty vial)
man, taking an ounce and more of opium
a day ; and his sufferings were proportionately severe. He complained of pains in his
arms and legs—muscular pains—gnawing
pains in his bones—and, worst of all, a pain
at the heart that was unbearable. In the
midst of his agony he would cry out in the
Chinese way for his mother or his brother
to help him, as he used to do when a little
child. Very sympathetically, Cheng told
him that we would appeal to God on his behalf, and I.remember that we were all in
tears even before we began to pray.
\m II
Mr. Cheng pleaded with the Heavenly
Father on behalf of this poor fellow. God
must help, His power was infinite, man's
extremity was His opportunity. We all
prayed in turn, and then the patient told
us he was already very much better, that
the pains in his limbs had gone, but" there
was still pain at his heart. Then—is it
strange to tell ?—as we sang a translation
of "Sweet peace, the gift of God's love,"
and prayed for a short time longer, he fell
Medical men will testify that in breaking
off the opium habit, sleep isIhe hardest
thing to produce without the^use of special
drugs. Sometimes, indeed, patients come to
us, begging us for something to give them
"just a wink of sleep."
Yet here was this man who, under the
blessing of God, in answer to prayer, had
dropped off into restful sleep. I had prepared four doses of medicine for him to
take during the night, but in the morning I
found it all on his table. He informed me
that the prayer medicine was very much better, and that he did not require the other.
132 -nm^i
Christmas in Nan-Chou
<S ^
was   our   first   Christmas   since
opening Nan-Chou to the gospel,
and   the   first ever celebrated   in
that heathen city.   Our little church
was already making   an impression,
and gaining   a J good   name among
the people.   Rumors   reached   us   that   the
people of the other Hall—the Hall of   the
Heavenly Lord—were going to have a gigantic  Christmas    celebration.     Each   member
must jf contribute   a thousand   copper  cash,
and they   would have a great feast.     "Besides," it was whispered, "they are going to
kill a cow, which in our Nan-Chou no one
else dares to do."
The  Indian  reverence for the   cow   has
spread to China.   The animal is revered be- S!
1 I'M
cause it is the "ploughing cow." "Kill the
cow that ploughs ! Whence then the grain
for man and beast ?" Buddhist tenets have
become not only custom, but law ; hence
beef is procurable only by those for whom
special enactments have been made. There
existed no such privilege in Nan-Chou.
One evening, the Gospel Hall people
were gathered in the guest hall, where Mr.
Cheng, amiable as ever, was entertaining
"The Catholics are planning a great
feast," said one, feeling his way.
"Subscriptions of a thousand cash each
are being collected from their people," add
ed another suggestively.
"They don't fear to break the law—they
are going to have beef," said a third, with
A fourth remarked : "The whole city
knows of it; they are going to have a reh-
nao—hot racket—time."
Cheng at once took in the situation —
the Catholics were going to have a feast,
and these Protestant believers were giving
him broad hints, lest the Gospel Hall should
134 TO fKEACKEft
fall behind in celebrating the Lord's glorious natal day.
A happy thought came to him. Bringing
his fist down upon the table, so that the
melon seeds danced and the tea-cups rattled,
he exclaimed, "They're going to feast themselves, are they ? We'll GIVE .a feast—to
the poor !"
"Sah ! Sah !' echoed the cries of spontaneous and united assent from his hearers,
and the plans were made forthwith.
Each man gave as his heart prompted.
The vermicelli-dealer, happy old Kwai,
whose witness since free from opium the
whole street had heard over and over again
—in fact they expected him to tell it once
more, though it always began and ended
with the same surprising phrase, "And it
didn't hurt a bit"—Kwai would give a
steaming bowl of rice-vermicelli, garnished
with salted greens and tempting bits of
sliced pork, to each poor person that would
come to the Hall and receive, with our
blessing, a ticket and a gospel tract.
Large posters, announcing this fact,
were to be put up on the walls of the city,
and Cheng said, slyly, "We'll include enough
*35 -C^=?*f,
on that poster, about the when, where, and
why of Jesus' birth, to make it not only an
invitation to the poor, but a glad gospel
tract to the whole city," and rubbing his
hands, he chuckled with glee.
The Hall, too, must be hung with gala
red of silk and satin, and colored lanterns
in abundance. There was to be, moreover,
a large evening meeting.
Christmas Day was a busy but happy
day. Assembled in the church, and mutual
congratulations over, the members prepared
to receive the poor. A pot of dye was prepared and a "Happiness" character written
on the hand of each recipient of a meal
ticket, to prevent him from coming for a
second one. Some washed it off and came
again, but the newly washed hands told the
tale of deception. With a merry "face saving" laugh to their comrades, they remarked "Hong t'amen puh tao—we can't fool
them," and off they jaunted to Mr. Kwai's
The beggars came from their newly built
"Ki Mao Tien"—Chicken Feather Temple, a
rendezvous and shelter erected for their comfort and better control by the chief manda-
136  ■i,!»wi.iiiiiiii,i.i,
' m Set
The King of the Beggars
A Fine City Street
Copyright, Underwood & Underwood m«—■»» '*iii4*>*^--T=*^«;i^--<'i.r/i'4v-c7r*i
rin, as with pride he had once informed me.
The temple's odd name came in this
wise. Chinese beggars are expert sneak
thieves ; and many an unsuspecting chicken
stretching out its neck for a peck at a passing wheelbarrow of vegetables, finds itself
suddenly, and with no time to cackle, grasped by a practised hand, and swept under its
captor's shirt into his wide-mouthed trousers. These are at once drawn tight, and —
who ever heard a chicken cackle in the dark?
The "chicken lifter" hurries along unnoticed to the Ki Mao Tien, where the freed
and now loudly cackling victim is tethered
to a bench, to await the boiling of the water. Fear inspires haste, and soon its feathers are drying in the sun ; to be tied, when
dry, to a bamboo stick and made into a
convenient feather duster for sale ! Hence
the name Chicken Feather Temple.
Hundreds of tickets | were given away
that day—the beggars and others enjoying
the accompanying tracts and proudly demonstrating—some of them—their ability to
Our evening meeting was crowded ; the
posters and the decorations had attracted a I ill
large number of people.   Cheng gave us an
inspiring talk.
During the service there was a slight interruption. Three men came up the aisle.
One was spokesman ; another bore several
visiting cards, in the large respectful form,
while the third held a bunch of fire crackers
and some incense sticks. They represented
the prison lictors, the lowest and poorest
of yamen menials, who live on what they
can squeeze out of the prisoners. Indeed,
they have all once been prisoners themselves, but have been promoted.
"We come, Great Foreign Pastor, and
Teacher Cheng," said the spokesman, "to
pay our respects, to worship the Lord, and
to participate in the happiness of the day."
They then looked about for a crucifix to
bow to, but finding none, were content to
bow to each of us, and then gave a sweeping bow to the congregation, who all instinctively rose to receive it—though with a
sly smile on many faces.
The fire crackers would have been set off
then and there, had someone not secured
them in time to avoid an even greater interruption.
111 TO FKEAiCKEH   fcfcj^
tS^^QStSSfSx^lP^r. -glffW^^s:^
Cheng whispered to me, "What they
want is tickets !"
"How many—three ?" asked the unsophisticated missionary.
Cheng went to inquire, and came back
with a smile. "There are twenty-four in all
—only three could be spared to come."
The tickets being given, with more bows
the three men retired, and we proceeded
with our service. We remembered that the
Master Himself had many an interruption in
His discourses—and were comforted.
At the close of the service a ticket was
given to each of the congregation, and in a
body we proceeded to Mr. Kwai's, whose
large shop barely accommodated so many.
The tables were spread with eight bowls each
and eight pairs of chopsticks, grace was
sung to the tune of Old Hundred, and the
long rice strips were dexterously and rapidly disposed of.
The meal finished, we sang another
hymn, and then wended our way homeward,
long to remember our first Christmas in
Nan-Chou. SI
141  XV.
Instant in Season, Out of Season
IT used to be a great
comfort to me to
have Mr. Cheng
go out with me when
we were visiting the
homes of those who
came to worship. Often the man of the
house would be absent, and the genial
presence and venerable appearance of my
bearded evangelist
would relieve the situation. He knew full
well how to get into
the heart and confidence of even the
simple country people. In a moment
they would be at
their ease.
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Sometimes there would be some little
problem before the family, of which at the
outset I could not appreciate the difficulty,
not understanding all the circumstances, or
not having a deep enough insight into the
particular Chinese custom involved. But
Cheng, with his characteristic knowledge of
Chinese life, unusually keen even for a
Chinese, would soon get to the very root
of the difficulty, and sometimes advise them
in quite a different way to that in which
they wished to be advised, and in which, at
first hearing, I would have thought of advising them. He was a power in pastoral
work, and his burning, earnest spirit would
always carry him through the difficulties,
and bend the will of the people when they
themselves would gladly have been persuaded in some other way.
Thus, in that district, numbers of homes
were ridden of all idolatry, for he pleaded
as few can plead, and showed the utter folly
of image worship. He had such high ideals
of the power of God to keep, that though
they might fear the idols and their friends,
he was sure that God was greater than all.
He had the   faculty of inspiring confidence
144 ba5£3h«n
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in the new God, whom they as yet little
understood. They put implicit faith in God
because they puts implicit faith in him.
On one occasion we spent a few weeks at
Shi-Shou, his old home, to let him visit his
relatives, and to work up the district.
I accompanied ||him into the country,
and as we drew near his home we passed
many people who knew him, and every one
seemed surprised to see the vigor with which
he walked, and how well he looked. When
we stood a moment in conversation with
them and they made some remark as to his
splendid appearance, he at once joyously replied, attributing it to the power of Jesus,
Who had so graciously renewed his health,
and Whom he would strongly recommend to
Once we were invited to preach in a tea
shop, owned by one of our members. J|After
we had sung a hymn, the large shop filled
rapidly, and it was interesting to hear the
remarks of those who came in, most of
whom knew him. They said, "Is he
going to preach to-day ? Why, that is the
old fellow that used to hobble along with
a staff, just a year or so ago.   Is not that
1 Cheng Er-tie of the renowned family at
Kwan Shan ? How terribly ill he used to
look, and how smart he looks now. Well,
certainly the Gospel Hall has not done him
any harm."
Then the old man rose and addressed
them. He said : "I need not introduce myself here, for I am not 'from the north of
the Sea, or the south of the Lake/ but a
man of your own place, for years living in
your own city here. You all remember me
under the power of opium and the ravages
of a hundred diseases. Why, I was reduced
to such a miserable condition that none of
you would care to have me around."
Then leaping up and striking his chest
he shouted, "But look at me now ! My
energies are a hundred fold more than they
used to be. I have a hundred times the
strength I used to have. I have a new lease
of life," and§1 he burst into a description of the marvellous grace of God that
had wrought in him a change so great.
Mr. Cheng was a very great help to me,
not only because of his life of prayer, and
intense spirituality, but on account of his
classical  learning.     His  custom   of   intro-
m  A Canal Scene
Rice Fields
Copyright, UnderwoocL& Underwood „*. TO FKEA,CKEH   fch
ducing rich and pertinent passages from the
classics to illustrate his teaching, was not
only instructive to his audience, but also to
the missionary, so that one looked up to
him as a teacher in many ways.
As a result of his fine Chinese education
he was so able to interest the educated
classes, that our church at Nan-Chou soon
came to have a better class of adherents
than is usual where the work has been but
newly begun.
His passion for souls was intense. Let
me give an instance. We had spent
most of the day on the river, and were
making for Shi-Shou in a little rowboat in
which we had taken passage.
One of our fellow-passengers was a
stranger, though Cheng knew of his antecedents. In less time than it takes to write
it, he was engaged in earnest conversation
with this stranger concerning the eternal
verities. I was amazed at his fervency of
spirit. What had produced such sudden and
warm interest in a man he had never seen
before ?  He would not let him go.
Once more he told   his own experience,
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and the
said,  "Yes, Mr.  Cheng,
v i
have 'eaten much bitterness.' "
"True ! True !" replied Cheng. "But,
"sien k'u heo t'ien"—first the bitter, then
the sweet—to which proverb he added another of its forms, "k'u tsin t'ien lai'r—
bitter ended, sweet comes—and as though
some sweet morsel were in his mouth, he
would laugh with closed lips.
Then he told of the bitterness of the
Cross, on which his bitterness had been nailed with that of Jesus= and all the world.
"K'u tsin—k'u tsin," he exclaimed—"bitterness ended, bitterness ended—in the Cross
for you and me. The peace of forgiveness
and cleansing—t'ien ru mih—t'ien ru mih —
sweet as honey, sweet as honey," concluding:
his testimony with a cry that was almost a
shout of delight.
I could not help suggesting moderation.
"Rest a bit, for we shall have a siege of it
"I am never happy unless I have at
least one or two onslaughts such as this
every day," he replied. "Yueh chiang, yueh
kw'ai . hoh—the more I preach, the more
happy   I   am;    and   besides,   they    don't 3b3II3^£3EB3EF]
know—" Then he began singing softly to
himself his favorite hymn. Soon it aroused
us all, and we were singing with might and
main. Crossing the lake in that little row-
boat, we sang it over and over, to the great
enjoyment of our fellow passengers.
When at last we had concluded, Cheng
turned to them with a happy laugh, and
said : "We have the advantage of you—we
have Jesus—we are happier."
They exclaimed, "Yes, you are—tell us
about it—sing some more."
Many and appreciative were their remarks. The gospel was being commended
to them. They enjoyed it, for there is nothing so infectious as joy.
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cr Our Church Rules and What the Mandarin Thought
of Them
N a previous chapter the influx of the
worst element of the city into our
church, at the opening, was mentioned.
Their purpose, a,s was
then said, was to take
advantage of the immunity of the mis-
sionaryjfrom Chinese
law to obtain for
themselves, through
his protection, a like
immunity. So they endeavoured to secure
his open championship of their cause.
Failing in this an effort, was made to obtain the help of Cheng
as a .deceiving go-between. Needless to say,
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they failed, for Cheng told the wily deputation sent to sound him, that they did not
understand the gospel in the least; that we
had come to be unto them a savor of life
unto life, not of death unto death.
But even so, they were not to be turned
aside so easily. In a few days we found it
reported on the street that this rowdy element had been received into the membership of "the Gospel Hall of Great Britain."
This was to give even greater protection
(another term for license) than "the Heavenly Lord Religion of Great France."
On one occasion a gong was beaten
along the entire length of the street, announcing a gathering of the "Gospel Hall
people" in a large tea-house "to discuss the
affairs of their cause." Notice of this gathering was quickly carried to Cheng, who
proceeded to the scene and publicly berated
these pretended and now crestfallen gospellers.
The methods used by us to rectify this
evil were various. Besides carefully stating
our position to the gentry and officials, and
in public street preaching,  we widely   dis-
seminated literature dealing with the subject, even to the extent of putting up posters! throughout the city. In China § these
take the place of newspapers ; so to enable
the public to discriminate between false and
true members of the Gospel Hall, we posted
up widely the following notice :
I How is a false professor to be distinguished from a real believer ? The blatant
profession of his own glib lips is of
course no criterion; punctilious ^attendance at all the gospel services is nothing to go by, since our doors are
open to anyone; possession of a Bible
and hymn-book is not evidence because we
sell these freely to all who wish to buy ;
parading the Gospel Hall lantern with 'Fuh
Yin T'ang' inscribed, to designate his adherence to it, is proof against him, for that
has been forbidden.
"Perchance   some   reader   suggests,   'Ah,
now I know. The home that in the place of
idols or ancestral tablet has hung up in it
a scroll inscribed with the Ten Commandments—that is th§ home of a Christian
man.' But even this suggestion may be
wrong, for the gospel of grace demands
more than this.
V= /"-SI
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■;, '*ss wunesND
| Here is the mark of distinction: When
you see a man whose daily walk shows an
uncommon degree of virtue; who, in his
business, has but one price and a just scale ;
whose happy heart and bright face gladden
the sorrowing and distressed; whose life
shows forth the love of God and the example of Jesus—look closely, for that man is
likely to be a member of the Gospel Hall."
But these methods were for the enlightenment of the public. Cheng suggested a
simple but effective measure which would
test and sift our congregation. This was to
be accomplished by placing in each of our
churches a list of "Requirements for Catechumens with the names of accepted candidates attached."
The rules were five in number :
1. Three months' study of the Truth.
This would enable us to get acquainted
with the would-be catechumen to discover
whether he had any lawsuit pending, or any
other unsettled matters.
2. The putting away of all heterodoxy.
This was sweeping in its scope, including
idolatry, ancestral worship, and the multitude of such heathen  practices as fortune-
156 PREACHER l±f
telHng, divining, geomancy, etc., etc.
3. The ability to reply to questions in
four chapters of our catechism.
4.^The memorizing of the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and the names
of the books of the New Testament.
5. The strictest abstention from opium,
gambling, impurity, intoxicating liquors,
and disorderly conduct.
This last was especially directed against
the rowdy element. These rules embraced
the main sins of China. They were written
in large characters onta neatly painted tablet over five feet long by two feet wide, affixed to the wall. This was balanced by a
similar tablet on the opposite wall with
Requirements for Church Membership.
For three months not a solitary name
could be inscribed. We were a close corporation during that time !
Cheng formed a special class to prepare
for examination on the five rules. No one
who heard him expound these would ever
suggest that we were trying to make Christians by rule. B     B
That catechumen board devoid of any
name had a tremendous effect.   There   was
i57 DSiSSfj
IIS*-^ < L-?rr4ra-ar-i feSBE
no way of getting round it. Bribing the
evangelist would not help matters. If they
would have their names on it they must
conform to its conditions.
When the gentry came to see us, Cheng
would point to the board and say, "We are
instructing and exhorting many, but have
as yet accepted none."
Several times the injured poor came to
us crying out against their oppressors. So-
and-So (giving the name) had beaten them
or otherwise involved them in trouble. The
oppressor had claimed to be a member of
the Gospel Hall, so the injured one came
clamoring for us to relieve his distress.
Who had made us judges and dividers over
them ? Cheng pointed to the board. "We
have no names, you see. Besides, our people don't do such things. You may go to
the proper authorities to seek justice, and
tell them that So-and-So's claim to belong
to us is false, for you have been to our Hall
and failed to find his name."
The rowdies who had no thought of reforming began to complain that the rules
were too strict. "The gate to the Kingdom
is narrow," was Cheng's reply.
158 Finally examination day came. There
was keen interest. Would it be like so many
things Chinese—just an outward form after
all, with loop-holes large enough for all to
slip through ?
Our large inner guest room was used for
the occasion. Evangelist Cheng and the
pastor occupied the upper seats. A secretary sat close by. Had there been|fany
church members they would have occupied
the side seats.
The candidate to be examined sat alone
on a chair placed in the centre of the room.
We opened with prayer. As presiding officer
I enquired as to Rule 1—"When did you first
come to us to hear the gospel ?" The secretary wrote his reply under his name, age
and   address.     "What   does   study   of   the
Truth mean ?"
Cheng would then question him, after
which we would turn to Rule II. Cheng's
questions here were very searching. "In case
of death in the family, how would you proceed ?" "Wotdd you erect a tablet, and
worship the spirit of the dead ?" "On New
Year's morning, when 'all under Heaven'
rise early to pray Heaven and the idols for
i59 I
- fin— -''^>|l'~""-fi~'"
a prosperous   year,   how   would   you proceed ?"
Under Rule III, we readily discovered
how much Christian doctrine was really
comprehended, by asking the questions out
of the regular order and in such a way that
memorized answers would not suit.
Thus it proceeded. When all had been
examined, a few names were found worthv.
But not one of the unrepentant had succeeded through scheming in getting his name on
the list.
We were willing to have the accepted
names known, for they were our glory and
our joy. Cheng rejoiced, for the atmosphere
cleared perceptibly. Now it devolved upon
us to demonstrate that the gospel could
transform men, that it had not lost its
power unto salvation to every one that be-
I was j called on one occasion to attend a member of the chief mandarin's family who was ill. Afterward, as we sat in his
spacious audience room, he produced one of
our books, and said respectfully : "This has
come to my notice. I am interested in your
'Requirements for Catechumens/
"Yes," I replied, "we have scattered
them far and wide so that the masses may
know what we stand for in a general way."
|H "Well," said he, meditatively, "I don't
understand much about the first four rules,
but that fifth rule is far-reaching."
He paused a moment and then proceeded : "It seems to me that within a period
of ten years, the best people in China will
have joined the church."
"How so ?" I asked in surprise.
"Because you safe-guard the interests of
your people to such a degree," he replied.
"But, your worship," objected I, misunderstanding, "how can you say that ?
Have we not been in your honorable city
for more than a year now, and not once
have we appealed to you for protection for
our suffering converts ? Why, we have had
several f cases of real distress, when you were
waiting to be gracious, but our people preferred to suffer for the sake of establishing
our fair name and reputation."
"Ha ! Ha !" he laughed. "You misunderstand. That would not be safe-guarding
your interests, but the opposite. No, no !
What I mean is this.   Look at your educa-
l63 S ft*
f„{'Tt-r/inni, i'nn5E
tional institutions ; they are the finest in
the land, teaching as they do the necessary
branches of real knowledge. Now, what
does a man covet for his children more than
the equipment your schools so cheaply provide ? Our Government schools cannot
compare with them. Then there are your
hospitals, under the care of skilled physicians and equipped with all the appliances
and comforts that Western science knows.
Now what is more precious to a man than
his life, and the health of his family ? Of
course those in the church get the first
*    "No,"   interrupted    I,
alike." 1        "
"Then, again, see this list of rules you
have," continued the wise old official. "Here
are absolute prohibitions of opium, gambling, and impurity. These things in our
China are what we parents and officials
dread most. They 'pai kia, pai ming'—ruin
the family, ruin the reputation. Now, if
you are able to safeguard your people from
these evils, am I not right in saying our
best families will flock into the church !"
It was a blessed opportunity to speak of
we    treat   all
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Christ, though not the only one by any
means, for he enjoyed to talk along these
lines. With burning heart I have more than
once conversed with him about God, the
source of all good, and Jesus Christ, the
divine Word, the Expression of all His love.
The example of Cheng's little church in
Nan-Chou was supporting these messages.
There was a new Light in his city. Was
there one in the mandarin's own heart? For
one day he said to me, feelingly, "I am
tired of official life. One cannot obey the
Truth of Heaven and be an official in corrupt China. Besides, I have a presentiment
that I shall not live long. I am minded to
place my family in the capital, and then I'll
go out with you and preach !"
His presentiment came true. He passed
away within the year.   Where did he go ?
i6S Some Strange Inquirers
and Converts
I-AH!"     ex-
c 1 a i m e d
Cheng to me
one day, "to save a
soul in China is indeed difficult." There
are, as a matter of
fact, many things to
warrant - the statement. Apart from
the claims of '*the
three religions" of
the people upon them,
there are the claims
of clan and of society. To join the
"foreign religion" is
to invite a large
measure of ostracism.   Women find it to BbBBI
tjgss.vsatav=ff^- ~(E=s^^rrina^a
difficult to attend worship because of their
bound feet.llOpium is the fatal barrier to
many an interesting inquirer's progress.
Disease and death, so rampant in China,
often sweep them away when interest is
nicely developing. The power of demons
over the people is also a real obstacle, so
great is the popular fear of these.
There was a silk merchant from the
county of "Heaven's Gate," who was^Jattracted to us by Cheng's preaching. He
must have been a man of some ability, for
he was the leader of his trade guild, which
numbered thirty-five men. Through him
they every one decided to join our "Hall,"
and the necessary books were bought. Their
leader in things temporal, he determined to
be such in things spiritual. Thus, he read
diligently his Bible and hymn-book, and became an eager inquirer after the truth.
My own recollection of him is slight. I
was away so much that I seldom saw him.
However, Cheng brought him to me on one
occasion to get medicine for hib child. I remember his grateful smile a day or two
afterward, when he announced the baby's
recovery.     When I returned from my next
Si __,—.. %
trip around my appointments, sad^iews
awaited me. Our newly found friend had
taken cholera, through dreadful bungling
had been given the wrong medicine, and had
died. Their leader gone, most of his thirty-
five guildsmen fell away.
Several weeks afterward we were greeted, one day, by an elderly woman, who
came to us saying, "I am Peh Yuin's mother. I have come two hundred miles from
'Heaven's Gate' to see my child's grave."
Cheng explained to me that Peh Yuin
(White Cloud) was the silk merchant's baby
name, by which his fond mother still called
him. Of course her loved one had been long
buried, and being poor she could not take
his remains back to the old home as she
would have liked to do.
Daily she went to the grave and mourned her son, lamenting loudly and calling to
Peh Yuin, sometimes mildly reproving him
for not remaining longer to comfort her old
age, and then again with tears excusing
him. "To be sure, you are not blameworthy. It was fate ; and you, Peh Yuin,
my son, could not help it." With words
like these her weeping was interspersed.
168 to mE^cmn tfc;
She was a vegetarian by religious faith
and practice, but Cheng by faithful preaching persuaded her to break the vow of that
cult, and accept Christian teaching. Often
he prayed with her. Shortly before her return, we learned from her own lips something like the following : "I like to come to
your Hall, for my Peh Yuin liked to come.
I do trust what you have said is true, that
Jesus can take me where my Peh Yuin is.
Do you know, yesterday I went to his grave
and burned some paper money for him to
use in the nether world. I burned his Bible
and hymn-book also, for they tell me he
was constantly reading them, and I thought
he might want to have them. Oh ! my
Peh Yuin!   Why did God not let him stay?"
Poor loving, yearning, broken-hearted
mother ! Her instincts and motives all so
true and tender, her ignorance and superstition still so profound. Picture her standing by that grave she had come so far to
mourn over> and burning her boy's loved
Bible and hymn-book that he might have
them to use in the unseen world to which
he   had   gone.    Even   human    hearts    are
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touched  by   such an   incident.   How much
more the loving heart divine !
Cheng gently chid her, and instructed
her as lay in his power. And, dear reader,
I do trust she found her way to Heaven's
Gate, do not you ?
Mrs. Ting was tall and pretty, and only
nineteen years of age. She had been bought
to be the wife of a widower of over fifty,
who kept an opium den. Unhappy in her
married life, it was easy for her to yield to
the seduction of opium, and living in the
den itself and not therefore needing to buy
the drug, she soon acquired an enormous
appetite. Her friend and confidant, Mrs.
Yang, eventually brought-her to the Gospel
Hall to hear the Word of Life. It was far
to walk, and her bound feet were too small
to bear a large woman's weight such a distance. As soon as she took her seat in the
church, she would sit back so as to lift "her
sore and tired feet off the ground. Having,
however, often to relieve her husband of the
care of the opium den, she was unable to
come regularly. Besides, he was not pleased
to have her come at all, for we were m
strong opposition to his opium selling, and
170  BfiBi
.._-    -- - . TO PREACHER
he knew it well. In fact Cheng and I had
more than once called on him and urged
him to give up the abominable business.
Cheng one day told me the following
episode concerning her : Her morning's
work had detained her—opium smokers do
not rise till late in any case—and she had
come to church the entire distance alone.
When she arrived, she found that the meeting was already well begun and that the
outer gate had been carelessly closed. Fearing to disturb the service to admit just a
woman, and footsore from the long tramp,
she knelt joutside the gate on the ground.
There she kept on her knees and worshipped
as best she could for perhaps an hour. Who
knows the longings that arose in her sad
young heart ? How could she rise to the
sweet, pure life that filled Cheng's Sunday
morning message ?
When service was over, Cheng found her
and brought her in. How our hearts ached
for her ! So eager to learn—but how was
she to come to a knowledge of the truth ?
Her husband was an opium sot, her home
an opium den, herself fast losing her youthful It freshness   through   the   withering    in-
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fluences of the bitter poison that held her in
its grasp and blighted all her hopes. She
suggested more than once that she would
bring an elderly woman to attend her, and
remain in our compound while she broke
off opium. However, her husband would not
consent, and neither could we—in that newly opened station.
At times in prayer for captive ones like
Mrs. Ting, I have heard Cheng cry, with
broken voice, "Oh ! Lord, they want to
come, yet cannot. They are like I was in
the years of my bondage. Oh ! Lord, how
long ere Thou set them free ?"
One of Cheng's inquirers was Hsin, a
cloth merchant. He was of the "Heaven's
Gate" group, and continued to come even
after Peh Yuin died. He brought his boys
to the chapel, but Cheng had never been
able to get the timid, modest wife and mother to come. Besides, she had little ones
and the home to manage and could not
easily attend.
One day the father, bearing his little
son of two years in his arms, came to the
Hall for medicine. The child was already
far gone.    There  were   fever,   a   distended
mm ■wy,-j'» ,'j jc^Tg^-fsg:
to mtmmm
stomach, and much emaciation. In dark
China one sees a great deal of this-. The
food, especially the vegetables, not being
well cooked, nearly every Chinese child suffers much from worms. The stomach becomes swollen to two and three times the
natural size, and the suffering child, consumed with fever, and distressed with pain,
grows daily more and more thin. Innumerable children die from this trouble alone.
This baby was too weak to bear the only drugs at hand. Next day I was sent for
and found, as I expected, that he was
dying. The poor mother's grief was evident. How tenderly she held the little one
in her arms, relinquishing him, however, at
my request as I took him in my own.
To my disgust I saw she had covered
the mouth and lips with a mixture of chopped garlic and some other strong-smelling
herb. I asked what this was for. The poor
anguished mother replied, "It is to coax the
worms out of his mouth and nose. Several
have already come up. These things are
killing my baby boy and I am hoping we
can get enough of them up to save   him."
There  was  a little   funeral   next   day—
m Iff
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f mm mm mt&
'^rr »-— *' i^-i.—-^
only one of the "million a month." The
grief-stricken parents found a friend in the
sympathizing evangelist, counselling, comforting, and pointing to the world to come.
Much of China's idol worship is intermixed with spiritualism. Hence the proverb
"Shen wu ching puh ling." "If the idol is
not possessed of the spirit of some ancient
worthy it is not efficient."
In our district there lived a family
named Ch'en, in whose home the most efficacious spirit for miles around dwelt with
the image, in the niche of the place of worship. This "Lao Yeh" (venerable one), it
was reputed, could tell how high the river
would rise during the ensuing year. Water,
placed before his shrine, would upon his
presence being invoked become ffinspirited
and receive healing power. The medium, a
poor but educated farmer, would upon
yielding himself to the spirit, and thus becoming possessed, stagger about as if drunk.
With steel stylus he would then write the
spirit's message, with stiff spasmodic
strokes, upon a board covered with sand,
in the presence of the awed and worshipping
176 TO PREACHER   |±,
During a visit to the city this man came
under the influence of the Gospel Hall. Then
began a strange conflict between light and
darkness in the man's heart. The truth of
the one great eternal God, who alone must
be worshipped and obeyed, seized hold of
him. He told us of his office as medium,
and argued in behalf of the reality and
power of the spirit of his worship. Cheng
did not oppose him on that ground. In fact
I have found the majority of Chinese convinced as to the existence of unseen spirits
and their power. Cheng held that these
were emissaries of Satan, foul demons of
the kingdom of darkness, and that reason
and the Word of God alike forbade intercourse   with them.      "Thou   shalt worship
the Lord   thy   God,  and   Him only shalt
thou serve." |§§
In course of time the medium came to
us to break off opium. He stayed three
weeks in daily contact with Cheng, whose
apostolic zeal and convincing witness finally conquered him. Three weeks of life in the
Light as it shone through the preached
Word and the example of God's children, and
the medium was a changed man. fHe returned to his country home and announced
177 IftMttWMJhmNP
>*-Q~»iwt=a   i^i-T ffi
his purpose to destroy the image. The people gathered to save it and take it to an
adjoining temple. Before it was taken
away, however, the medium went to the
shrine as had i been his custom, and addressed the demon in the old way. He said,
"Lao-Yeh, I have been your medium for
many years. Now we must part company.
I have learned to worship the true God, and
that it is wrong to yield oneself up to any
other.   I dare not serve you any longer."
In this dramatic way ended his vassalage to the powers of darkness. His brother and one or two relatives also became
Christians. I have visited his home, and
was feasted there on one occasion. By the
"expulsive power of a new affection," as
exemplified in Cheng's life, the "strong
man" was cast out and he received instead
the indwelling of the holy God. S.The Lao
Yeh's medium became Christ's freedman.
The Truth had made him free.
178 XVIII.
The Parting
BY and by the
e x i g encies
of the work
called me to another province.
Then came the
parting asunder
of hearts that
had grown closely attached to
one another. Together we had
suffered, together we had toiled,
together we had
won the victories
of faith. Now
separation must
come, and I
dreaded it greatly. Cheng and 1
had found the
place "where
there   is   neither Til
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oroun Bim
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Greek, nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircum-
cision, barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free ;
but Christ is all, and in all." It was hard
to part.
During these last days he would often
drop into my room. "What is it ?" I would
ask, though I knew full well.
"Nothing," he would reply. "I have just
come to sit awhile and to chat a little."
Then after a short silence, he would begin,
"What shall I do when you are gone ? Who
will there be to counsel with ?"
"Why, Cheng, you know Mr. C  is
coming to take over the work, and everyone knows he is a fine man."
"Ah, yes ! they are all good," he would
say. "But be he ever so good, you are my
'grace man' (en-ren). It was through you
my burdens were rolled away. You were not
ashamed of my sores. And who nursed me
when ill and was father and mother to me ?
Oh, teacher ! this leaving us is hard, hard,
hard."' -f    *     "
"Come, Cheng, bear up. Is there not a
happy  meeting  time   coming soon   for   us
alir    i- 1     I   m
"Oh, teacher, if it were not for   that !
180 Pmr-rr..<&J*auJ3
• . 1 and I shall meet Koh, who, though
not baptized, has gone before. I am old
now, teacher, I will be there waiting for
you ; yes, yes, waiting for you." f
There were no intruding eyes.   What if I
pressed his bearded cheek to my own, as in
close embrace love found expression too 1
for words ?
In northern Hunan between the lake and
the Yang-tse,   among the  people of   that
wide and populous plain, with the grace of
God restmg  richly  upon him, Cheng   still
labors on, Ms joy to do the Father's will.
"It is the way the Master went •
Should not the servant tread it still ?"
EH& iH
it rl
Though you escort a friend a thousand li,
you must part with him at last
„ r    S£K-1


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